The occupation of a Demilitarizing Zone is usually the first step of a armed conflict. But when the Green Line, that divides Cyprus in two was occupied last week it was an act of peace rather than aggression.
Young people from both communities entered the UN controlled Green Line and camping there. If this latest “Occupy” movement can find roots in both communities and financial international backing it could be the start for the change in the Island.
Inspired by the global “Occupy” movement, youths from across the divide in Cyprus have joined forces to set up camp inside the buffer zone that has split the island since 1974, demanding reunification.
After over a week, half a dozen tents are pitched in a few square metres of the occupied “public land” along the Green Line crossing point at Ledra Street in Nicosia, Europe’s last divided capital.
This month, U.N. head Ban Ki-moon reported “encouraging progress” at the last round of reunifiation talks in New York between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, but warned “there is still work to be done.”
In contrast with protesters of the U.S. or Spanish Occupy movements, the Cypriot youths hold no fears of being forcibly evicted from the site, which police forces are not allowed to enter.
The U.N. peacekeeping force in Cyprus said it tolerated the occupation, the first of its kind since the island’s partition, even though it is the target of some hostile graffiti daubed around the site.
Mean while the quest for the hydro carbon riches beneath the Med is continuing. Last week Turkey signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell for energy exploration and production sharing in the Mediterranean and southeastern Anatolia. Keeping the fact that Shell is a Anglo-Dutch company it is not surprising to see UK involvement in an affair about Cyprus.
Turkey has signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell for energy exploration and production sharing in the Mediterranean and southeastern Anatolia.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız rejected suggestions that the deal was a response in retaliation to Greek Cypriot and Israeli oil exploration off the coast of Cyprus.
“The deal is a result of technical work and has nothing to do with international speculation,” Yıldız said at a ceremony yesterday.
The agreement, which covers seismic research off the Mediterranean province of Antalya as well as onshore drilling work near the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, was signed between the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and Shell. Seismic research will be conducted off Antalya until 2014, after which exploratory drilling will begin. Shell and TPAO will share output equally if oil or gas is found, TPAO general manager Mehmet Uysal said.
According to news reports the Russians are really coming to the Eastern Med this time. As my readers may recall when the tensions in East Med started to increase about the oil of Greek side in Sector 12, Russia immediately declared that she was send several nuclear subs to the region. Later when the political situation in Syria worsened this subs were reinforced with a small flotilla of ships from Gulf Of Aden to show Russia’s solidarity with Syrian regime. But surprising both the submarines and the ships have failed to materialize and their presence was never ever proved.
How ever this time the Russians are really sending their sole aircraft carrier to the region to conduct a number of exercises with regional navies.
Russian warships and submarines are deployed worldwide within task groups and singly. It is planned that Russian warships would take part in the FRUKUS 2012 maneuvers, NATO exercises BALTOPS 2012, IONIEX 2012, and the international search-and-rescue exercise Bold Monarch 2012, Russian-Norwegian exercise Pomor 2012, international exerciseNorthern Eagle 2012, and the RIMPAC 2012 exercise”, said the interviewee.
According to him, in 2012 Black Sea Fleet will take part in activation of BLACKSEAFOR task group. Terms and dates of exercises are being currently agreed via diplomatic channels. In addition, Russian warships are supposed to pay visits to over 40 foreign ports in 2012.
“Navy command plans that Russian warships would continue presence in the Gulf of Aden and near the Horn of Africa on the regular basis in order to maintain maritime security. With this in view, rotation of the ships is scheduled”, added the Navy spokesman.
He stressed that Russian mariners were planning to start a long-range cruise no later than in Dec 2011. As is expected, Northern Fleet carrier group headed by aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov will be deployed in ocean zones.
For the previous updates of Eastern Mediterranean:
The Situation In The Eastern Mediterranean (Part 5)
The Situation In The Eastern Mediterranean (Part 4)
The Situation In The Eastern Mediterranean (Part 3)
The Situation In The Eastern Mediterranean (Part 2)
The Situation In The Eastern Mediterranean (Part 1)