The great game in the Levant: energy geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean [Levant’ta büyük oyun: Doğu Akdeniz’in enerji jeopolitiği]
This study explores the historical evolution of the Levant region from the trade system to hydrocarbon geopolitics by using a longue duree approach one which evaluates the region's present situation in light of developments in oil and natural gas exploration production and export. The concepts of great power politics and balance of power frame the investigation of permanent and changing dimensions of hydrocarbon geopolitics. The first of the two hypotheses tested and verified in this study is that the geopolitics of the Levant maintains its historical importance for the global hegemon and for the international state system even though the central thrust of the Levant's geopolitics has been tranformed from trade to energy. The second hypothesis is that regional and global peace and stability increase when the geopolitics of the Levant is in the control of a hegemon. Instances of conflict increase and opportunities for cooperation decrease when the Levant's geopolitics slips from the grasp of a single hegemon as a result of shifts in the balance of power. Following a discussion of threats and opportunities for conflict and cooperation in the Levant region possible strategies for the regional actors are evaluated. Lastly the threats and opportunities that Turkey faces are situated within emergent trends in the energy geopolitics of the region.