The New Energy Geopolitics, Risks and Opportunities of Eastern Mediterranean discussed in Italy by Kondrad Adeneauer Foundation and Near East University

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Added On: 01 January 2019, Tuesday, 19:44
Last Edited On: 01 January 2019, Tuesday, 19:44

The New Energy Geopolitics, Risks and Opportunities of Eastern Mediterranean discussed in Italy by Kondrad Adeneauer Foundation and Near East University

The Near East University in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Germany and Başkent University organized a workshop on “Opportunities and Risks in the Eastern Mediterranean”in Italy.

According to a press statement released by the Near East University Press and Public Relations Department, the workshop was held at Villa La Collina in Cadenabbia, Italy, and participants discussed new dynamics and developments in the Mediterranean region. Within the scope of the meeting context how the changing energy geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean has been affecting the conflicts and contradictions and how these contradictions and conflicts can be overcomed and turned into a process of cooperation based on mutual benefits was discussed by the subject specialists from Germany, Israel, Italy, Libya, Russia, Turkey, Greece and otherEuropean Union participants.

The workshop was attended by Kudret Özersay, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; Assoc. Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel, Chairman of Board of Trustees of Near East University; Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees Assoc. Prof. Dr. Murat Tüzünkan; Former Undersecretary of the TRNC Presidency and Former Negotiator Ergün Olgun; Director of the Near East Institute Assoc. Prof. Dr. Umut Koldaş; Head of Department of Political Sciences Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nur Köprülü; Head of Department of International Relations Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sait Akşit, and from METU TRNC Campus, Lecturer of Department of Political Science and International Relations Assist. Prof. Dr. Hayriye Kahveci

The New Energy Geopolitics, Risks and Opportunities of Eastern Mediterranean discussed in Italy by Kondrad Adeneauer Foundation and Near East University

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Günsel: “In the Final Settlement, the Future of Universities, Higher Education and International Students in the TRNC should be considered…”
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Assoc. Prof. Dr. İrfan S. Günsel delivering the opening speech on behalf of the Near East University, emphasized that Near East University does not only serve the students of the Near East family but also the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Günsel stating that, continuing to leave its marks on the continents in every area the Near East University undertakes this responsibility through scientific works, inventions, technological innovations and medical developments, expressed his great pleasure and pride in contributing to Turkish Cypriots and humanity in every field. Assuming that they continue to serve each day with an increasing dedication and growing capacity, Günsel emphasized that that education is an area that exceeds the borders in every sense. Günsel also emphasized that any final solution to be reached in Cyprus should take into consideration the future of universities, higher education and international students in the TRNC.

In his speech, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Günsel also underlined the importance of the timing and content of the meeting and stated that, along with Turkey, the TRNC is always in a fair, constructive, and sincere attempt to take into account the interests of both sides in Cyprus in order to reach a permanent and nondiscriminatory solution. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Günsel noting that having such an approach by only one of the parties is not sufficient to achieve a lasting and fair solution, and ignoring one of the parties’ legitimate rights of political equality will not contribute to a solution. Emphasizing that the Turkish Cypriot people would be an equal partner of any future political, economic and social structure, Assoc. Prof. Dr. İrfan S. Günsel stated that all the institutions and organizations of TRNC will continue to defend this principle on all international platforms and they will not allow the rights of the Turkish Cypriot community to be violated by anyone.

The New Energy Geopolitics, Risks and Opportunities of Eastern Mediterranean discussed in Italy by Kondrad Adeneauer Foundation and Near East University

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Koldaş: “It is difficult to produce an agreement or solution on a ground based on unparalleled words and inequality in an international environment…”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Koldaş said for many years in Cyprus, promises given by the international community, regional organizations and other actors for the fulfillment of the mutual trust required for the reconciliation, and stressed that in order to solve the complexity, a common ground of far-sightedness should be established which is not differentiated by the parties. Noting that the international, regional and local mechanisms that will meet the social, economic, political and security needs of the region and the competencies to meet these needs have not yet been reached, Koldaş emphasized that it would be very difficult to reach a permanent, fair and viable solution that will satisfy the parties. Underlining that it would be difficult to produce consensus or solution on an international basis based on unfulfilled promises and inequality, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Koldaş pointed out that an approach should be developed to tactical gains, which is equally sensitive to the priorities and concerns of both parties in order to produce a comprehensive solution.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Akşit: “There is a period in which political and strategic concerns are in the foreground and disintegration is stronger than integration…”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sait Akşit, Head of Department of International Relations, stating that the Greek Cypriots internationalizing the energy issues of the Cyprus problem to increase pressure on Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, emphasized that the recent statements of the Greek leaders on the issue have a tendency to ignore the share of power and to ignore the efforts of the two communities for political equality with an emphasis on functionality. Asserting that at this stage it is hard to claim that this approach of the Greek Cypriot administration is a part of a long-term plan but that there are steps to ignore and harm the equal status of Turkish Cypriots. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Akşit said that this attitude strengthened the perception that the Turkish Cypriots were accepted as a minority by the Greek Cypriots. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sait Akşit stated that the organization units of societies should be redefined within the framework of a more functional framework and should be moved forward in order to limit the possibility of interactions between the societies, for example in the federal structure, in order not to burden the communities each other or interfere in the internal affairs of each other.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Köprülü: “The approach of the Greek Cypriots based on one-sided initiative to an issue concerning all sharers of energy and natural resources does not help solution of Cyprus issue…”
Head of Department of Political Sciences, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nur Köprülü, pointed out that the political and economic geography in which the island of Cyprus was located had many actors and dynamics. Especially the Arab-Israeli deadlock, immigration from Syria to Turkey, conflict between Lebanon and Jordan, and the emerging consequent human security crisis and the 2011 Arab uprisings that have been reshaping the regional distribution of power in the Middle East are not independent from the conflict risen due the share of the hydrocarbon deposits around Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Although the island of Cyprus has recently been on the agenda with the issue of sharing hydrocarbon deposits, the main issue was the dissolution of the dispute in Cyprus.