France vs. Turkey in the EastMed: A Geopolitical Rivalry between a “Keeper” of the Old Order and a Challenging Emergent Power Briefings de l'Ifri, May 2021
The Franco-Turkish standoff is first and foremost a geopolitical contest for influence in the EastMed area. It must be understood in light of Turkey’s rise as an emergent power in quest for geostrategic autonomy and France’s unease with Ankara’s growing assertiveness in a region that Paris traditionally views as part of its sphere of influence.
- The Franco-Turkish standoff in the Eastern Mediterranean is a geopolitical contest for power that plays out on multiple fronts: Libya, Syria, Lebanon.
- Ankara’s expansive understanding of national sovereignty and its hegemonic aspirations in the EastMed is at odds with France’s vision of the Mediterranean and its definition of its interests in the region.
- The recent gas discoveries in the EastMed have played a key role in pushing Ankara into a confrontational policy.
- What started as a personal animosity between Emmanuel Macron and Recep Tayyip Erdogan is gradually turning into a major geopolitical rivalry, where France acts as defender of the old regional order and Turkey as a major disrupter and challenger.