Towards a New Cooperation Framework in the Eastern Mediterranean:
Moving Beyond Hegemonist Containment

The United States appears to be using the Ukraine crisis, instigated by its own hand, as an opportunity to further its hegemonistic agenda, which has been in decline for far too long. While the stated aim of US policy in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea is to limit Russia, there are also other factors at play. The US has forged alliances with Israel, Southern Cyprus, and Greece, which are directed at both Russia and Turkey. Additionally, the US views the Mediterranean and Black Sea as a strategic front not only against Russia and Turkey, but also against developing countries such as China and Iran.

The Mediterranean region is one of the most vulnerable areas of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is set to enter its tenth year in September 2023. The BRI is more than just an economic cooperation project among the countries along its path, as its ten-year history has shown that cooperation based on the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs has led to a declining hegemonistic agenda on the part of the US. The Mediterranean, which is a vital strategic area for the BRI's growth into Africa and Europe, provides a unique opportunity for the developing world.

Each of the eastern and southern Mediterranean countries, including Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria, has signed individual partnership agreements under the BRI, with some having extensive bilateral collaborations. Despite differing levels of resistance, these countries are pushing back against the impositions of the Atlantic system in the areas of economy, politics, and security.

Against the destructive policy of exporting "democracy" under Atlantic hegemonism, the BRI offers the possibility of independent and shared development through multilateral alliances with developing countries. International cooperation based on the BRI could help to eliminate Atlantic hegemonism that has caused havoc in the region. The countries in the Mediterranean region coming together to safeguard their national interests would have consequences for the northern Mediterranean as well.
Finally, the realization of shared interests among Turkey, Russia, China, and Iran, as well as the countries along the eastern and southern Mediterranean coasts, could form a stronger unity of forces capable of defeating hegemonic containment. Such unification would exacerbate the centrifugal tendencies between the US and Europe and diminish the impact of Atlantic hegemonism on Europe.

In conclusion, integration into the BRI has the potential to benefit the Mediterranean countries in two ways: it would allow each country to develop according to its own characteristics while promoting international cooperation for the common good, and it could also undermine hegemonist impositions and establish world peace.




From the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to the current war between Russia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries in Ukraine, international polarization and the struggles of influence between world powers towards the Middle East region have not been as intense as we see today. This article seeks to answer the following question: how can major Eurasian powers such as Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Russia build a long-term collaboration that could also engage the Gulf countries? Much of the attention regarding regional relations has focused on energy projects, from the Arab Gulf to the Mediterranean on the one hand and from the Russian Federation via the
Turkish mainland on the other, as an international supply towards Europe and the Americas. Effective and long-term collaboration requires not only the leading role of major Eurasian powers but also a due appreciation of the importance of strategic commodities other than energy products and a stronger awareness of the common challenges these powers share. This calls for a new economic model based on state-led investments, production, and employment in the space of the “Five Seas”, whose prerequisite is respect for international law within the framework of the legitimacy of the United Nations to ensure stability and prevent the resurgence of extremism, facilitate the return of displaced persons,
and encourage reconstruction and peace efforts throughout the region. Syria, which had previously promoted the “Five Seas approach” with Turkey as a driving force, as well as the other countries ofthe Levant (Lebanon, Jordan with Iraq), the Arab countries of the Gulf and North Africa, have the opportunity to take advantage of the change in the global context of world politics. They will assume a key role with Russia, China, India and other emerging countries in the multipolarization of world politics to bring into use the advantage of the region’s geographical position at the hub of energy supply, infrastructure investment, transport and international trade.

Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative, Five Seas, geopolitics, Middle East, Syria


This study examines how Türkiye has made the problem in the Sea of Islands a security issue in its recent foreign policy, the policies of Türkiye and Greece towards the Eastern Mediterranean region, the attitudes of non-regional actors towards the parties, and the reflections of the tension between the two countries in the region with the Copenhagen
School’s Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) approach and process tracking method, which has an important place in security studies. Since they are perceived as a threat to the sovereignty of Türkiye, these issues are a problem of belonging and armament of the islands in the Sea of Islands, whose status has not been determined by international
agreements. Greece’s efforts to expand its territorial waters are based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which Türkiye is not a party. Greek policies shaped within the framework of the Seville map, and the effect of foreign actors, have created regional complex formations studied by excluding Türkiye. It is considered unacceptable for Türkiye to remain silent in the face of threats against it, to accept the demands dictated to it, and to compromise its national interests. Increasing uncertainty in the region, polarization, and the race for regional militarization bring the risk of open conflict. This situation creates a serious security threat in the Eastern Mediterranean Region Security Complex.

Keywords: Eastern Mediterranean, islands issue, militarization, Regional Security Complex Theory, security hazard


"Western Great Powers have heavily used the Mediterranean Sea in their colonial campaigns and strategic dimensions at the expense of non-Western countries in the Mediterranean Zone. No one but America gains from any aggressive military action. America profited from the invasion of Iraq, profited from its attitude towards Syria, profited from  Libya, etc. That's why every country should take this seriously, especially those in the Mediterranean region that need to cooperate more. Türkiye, Algeria, Syria, Libya, and Egypt— all these countries should be strategic allies, and they should be in greater consensus with each other instead of getting into conflicts. The exploitation of petroleum and gas, which are some of the main issues that Mediterranean countries face, should be studied seriously. They should be solved politically instead of engaging in wars and conflicts with each other; if not, in the end, the winner will be America and European countries."


This article explores the current status of China’s promotion of the “Belt and Road Initiative” in the Eastern Mediterranean region and selects some major countries to focus on the strengths and opportunities, as well as the external challenges and threats of China’s efforts to promote the initiative in this region through Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis. At present, China faces challenges and risks in the process of steadily advancing its cooperation with countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The “Great Game”, regional turmoil, the COVID-19 epidemic and many other uncertain factors have impacted the stability of the regional situation and social and economic development. How China faces and resolves these crises is crucial to promoting the “Belt and Road” construction in the future.

Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative, China, Cooperation, Eastern Mediterranean.


Italy is a country with limited sovereignty, caught in a vice between the strict parameters set by the European Union and the policies imposed by the United States. Rome's decline  has been furthered by the effects of the pandemic and its adherence to the anti-Russian policies imposed by the US/EU/NATO triad to which the new Atlanticist government led by  Giorgia Meloni has sworn allegiance. There is, however, an alternative: the BRICS group. Joining or working closely with the coordination of emerging powers would allow Italy to  break free from its cage, regain its lost sovereignty and its natural role as the Mediterranean's centre of gravity and stabilising force.

Keywords: BRICS, European Union, Italy, Mediterranean, USA.