Turkey rekindles tensions in eastern Mediterranean by deploying Oruc Reis

As Russia and the Minsk Group attempt, with relative success, to bring Armenia and Azerbaijan to the negotiating table despite Ankara's pressure on Baku to maintain the offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh , the Turkish authorities announced this morning that the mining exploration vessel Orus Reis was once again deployed in the eastern Mediterranean in an area claimed by Cyprus, naturally reviving tensions with Nicosia and Athens after European and NATO mediation attempts, and this despite assurances given by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, no later than this weekend.

This deployment, which will again most likely be accompanied by an armed escort flotilla and air cover from the continent, comes in a particular electoral context in Northern Cyprus as the advance of the pro-Turkish nationalist candidate Ersin Tatar in the first round of the presidential elections held this weekend was only 2,5% against outgoing president Mustafa Akincy, in favor of calming relations with Nicosia, and ultimately a possible reunification. The dispatch of the gas ship will, in fact, inevitably revive community tensions between the Greek and Turkish populations of the island, and potentially benefit Ersin Tatar for the second round to be held on October 18.

Ersin Tatar, pro-Turkish candidate advocating the definitive integration of northern Cyprus into Turkey, won the first round of the presidential elections this Sunday, October 11 with 32,4% of the vote.

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