Nuclear power has always been a controversial issue. In the last
2 years since the INES 7 event (International Nuclear Event Scale)
occured at the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant on 11 March 2011,
the world's nuclear power-producing countries were in hot
debate on whether to suspend their nuclear projects, while public
opinion shifted steadily and swiftly in favor of renewable energy.
Since that time, countries that have their houses' lit by
nuclear electricity have decided to phase out nuclear power, and
are trying to fill the resulting void with power from alternative
sources. However, this trend has not necessarily hindered the
sharing of nuclear know-how and technology by established users of
nuclear power, and Turkey has been more than willing to absorb this
knowledge. Located in extremely close proximity to the tumultuous
developments in the Middle East, Turkey's hunger for power is
immense; with a fast-growing population, power is more critical to
it than ever. Currently, according to the Republic of Turkey's
Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), the top 3 sources of
energy generation are Lignite 15%, Natural Gas 36%, and
Hydroelectricity 36%, give or take a percentage point.
Hydroelectric plants have a set life-span, Lignite is a major
pollutant, and Turkey's Natural Gas is imported. This leaves
nuclear power as a cleaner and cheaper alternative, if the
long-term clean-up costs are properly accounted for, and the
inherent danger of nuclear power is properly contained. However,
there is a flip side to the coin: According to the projections made
by EMRA, by 2021, nuclear power will consist of only 4% of
Turkey's total energy production, which is lower even than the
total renewable energy (geothermal, solar and wind) percentages.
Looking forward, our legislators have begun to revamp the energy
laws to better accommodate alternative sources, like the new solar
Energy aside, the Turkish legal system is as vibrant as ever,
with new laws and by-laws being enacted by the General Assembly
every month or so, which means that what you knew a couple of
months ago to be true may now be changed, reshaped, and in full
force and effect, in an altogether different form. This fluidity
has tempted the best-known law firms from around the globe to enter
the Turkish legal market through affiliations and partnerships with
local firms, increasing the level of competition among full-service
law firms and the quality of service along with it. We, as always,
welcome competition provided it is on a level playing field in
terms of the regulatory framework.
There is also the new cash repatriation regulation - investors
who were somewhat afraid to redirect their funds from offshore
banks and into a country with an increasing credit rate and a newly
redesigned stock exchange can now bring their funds onshore, no
questions asked, if they are willing to part with 2 to 5% of their
inflowing capital. This will undoubtedly heat up the capital
markets, putting more stress on brokers who are already
overstressed; perhaps we will see some new legislation regarding
tertiary markets, giving finance lawyers an opportunity to stretch
their wings, learn some new market mechanics and maneuvers, and
revitalize their zest for their work along the way.
Speaking of revitalization, we may soon see the depressed and
"sorry, going bankrupt soon" construction industry
getting a much-needed kick with these funds; if not, that will
undoubtedly mean more work for litigators and real estate lawyers,
who could easily be overwhelmed with a spate of bankruptcies and
Besides nuclear concerns, with a new bridge and a third airport
coming to Istanbul, not to mention "the" Istanbul
(Bosphorus) canal project, coupled with the increasing concern of
the local populace in every city with respect to who owns which
water source and to what extent, this may well be a year when
environmental lawyers will have their plates quite full.
Although we have observed a slow 2012 in terms of
Privatizations, Turkey still has some aces up her sleeve, one of
which is the currently trending PPP'ing the healthcare sector.
The lawyers who have so deftly managed privatization affairs are
now into the healthcare sector, improving and learning yet a new,
complementary skill set.
Pens in our hands, we eagerly await the rest of this exciting
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