FEAS RESEARCH E-BULLETIN FEAS E-BULLETIN DECEMBER 2016 - Page 8

Author: Eminel, Emine Title: The Analysis of The Political Context of The Cyprus Hydrocarbons Debate in Relation to Cyprus Problem Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Oktay Fırat Tanrısever Department: International Relations Date: January 2016 Abstract: The discovery of new energy sources around Cyprus has created an interest in questioning the role of these resources; whether they will promote peace or exacerbate the existing tensions in the region. On that axis where energy and politics intersect, the Cyprus problem now holds a significant energy dimension which deserves to be explored carefully. With this understanding, this thesis is exploring Cyprus hydrocarbons issue by looking at energy related developments and related parties policies towards eastern Mediterranean on energy issues and the ways in which these policies are related to the Cyprus problem. The aim is to understand what the recent hydrocarbon related developments tell us about the geopolitics of energy in eastern Mediterranean and the dynamics of the Cyprus problem within that new geopolitical reality. This thesis maintains the significance of examining the contexts in which hydrocarbons debate emerge in Cyprus. It eventually argues that viewing the link between the Cyprus problem and the Cyprus hydrocarbons issue requires looking at sovereignty and territoriality dimensions of the conflict in Cyprus. The positions of Turkey, the RoC and TRNC, and the international community towards the oil and gas efforts around Cyprus reveal the predominance of these concepts in shaping the course of the energy developments in the region. In terms of whether the findings will excarbete the existing conflict in Cyprus or will create the grounds for cooperation; this thesis noticed that analysed arguments and positions on Cyprus hydrocarbons debate almost completely overlap with related actors‘ existing conflictual positions. 5