Ashdod Beach in Israel.

Environmental Geopolitics in the Southern Mediterranean: The Potential for Cooperation between Turkey, Egypt and Israel


Swansea University, MEF University, Kadir Has University

Project Members:

Emel Akçalı, Swansea University
Evrim Görmüş, MEF University
Soli Özel, Kadir Has University

Project Duration: Feb 21 - Dec 21


Emel Akçalı, email:
Evrim Görmüş, email:
Soli Özel, email:

This research explored the potential for cooperation on environmental peacemaking and environmental geopolitics between the regional powers of the Eastern Mediterranean – namely Turkey, Egypt and Israel – in order to decrease the tensions of potential conflicts and environmental degradation in the region.

It first conceptualised what is meant by environmental geopolitics as opposed to a traditional understanding of geopolitics. It then scrutinised how feasible this was in the Southeastern Mediterranean setting and explored the potential for interest convergence among the Turkish, Egyptian and Israeli policymaking and elite cycles, as well as those in Cyprus and Greece. It finally addressed the extent to which the EU with its existing marine protection legislation constructively engaged with Turkey, Israel and Egypt to develop mutual responsibility mechanisms to protect the marine environment in the Southern Mediterranean.

The added value of the research was both theoretical and practical. While the research outcome broadened the understanding of traditional geopolitics and expanded it in critical ways of thinking, thereby contributed to the international relations discipline, it also explored the potential of the ‘environmental geopolitics’ mindset within the Eastern Mediterranean policy circles. Drawing on this potential, the research brought alternative and innovative policy advice to the parties and reduced the potential for heated conflicts and long-term environmental degradation in the region.

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