27 years since the Imia/Kardak crisis: oil and gas are bringing the threat of war closer again!

We publish the latest statement of the Kazma Birak-Μας σκάβουν τον λάκκο-Don’t Dig campaign against extractions and war in Greece-Cyprus-Turkey.

27 years ago, the crisis on Imia/Kardak brought the armies of Greece and Turkey face to face in a heated incident that almost turned into a military conflict. Today, the tension continues with the possibility of a military episode seeming very close.

An outbreak of a military conflict between Greece and Turkey would probably also involve other countries in the region (Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, etc.).

The mainstream media in both countries promote a nationalistic insanity once more, just like in ’96, to cover up the real reasons behind the conflict: the oil and gas deposits discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean and the battle for domination between the Greek and the Turkish elite. Governments and TV channels vaguely promise riches for the people but the truth is that the extraction of these deposits will definitely bring about environmental degradation, destruction and lead to war conflicts. They hypocritically talk about tackling climate change while feverishly planning new extractions.

The planet is at risk but the financial and political elites are profiting from geopolitical games around oil and fossil gas. Extractions have never been a source of wealth for the peoples. The war in Ukraine and the energy crisis have trashed (any) commitments to a green transition and have put the most destructive forms of energy production back on the table: oil, fossil gas, lignite, nuclear. All this threatens to turn our region into a degraded mining – and nuclear – dump and powder keg ready to explode. In the prevailing neoliberal capitalist model, the ones who will lose are the peoples who are called upon to be killed in order to defend the profits of the oil multinationals, the war industries and the interests served by the great powers and the governments of the region.

We, the peoples who share the land, sea and air around the Mediterranean, are not enemies, we have nothing to divide, nor do we need to fight to share the EEZs or the deposits that must remain buried where they are anyway.

The enemies of the peoples are the big energy companies and the governments that serve them. And we need to fight for peace, social justice and freedom. Extraction and burning of hydrocarbons accelerate the global climate crisis and cause poverty, nationalism, wars and death.

We are building a joint initiative with environmental and social organisations in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to develop a common movement to put a stop to the mining projects and war cries in the Aegean and East Mediterranean. We call on every collective to join us and every progressive person to support this effort.

No Extractions, No War!

*About the initiative “Μας Σκάβουν το Λάκκο-Kazma Birak-Don’t Dig”

The initiative “Μας Σκάβουν το Λάκκο-Kazma Birak” was established through the initiative of 73 environmental, social and political collectives in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus and is a collaboration against extractions and war in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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