Worldwide: Turkey's Strategic Importance In World Energy Corridor ( 2 )

Last Updated: 14 January 2015
Article by Engin Düzgün

We did publish an article with the same title in 2011. In that article we mentioned several topics and made some strategic evaluations. Since then time has proved that our evaluations were relevant. Therefore; we decided that writing this article as a follow-up to the previous one-would be appropriate. It seems that this article will be much more visionary.

Many international incidents taking place before and after the 2012 U.S.A. elections show that there are many serious changes in global energy strategies. To begin with, President Obama hosted the future leader of Chine, Xi Jinping in the U.S.A in 2011. This meeting, in fact, was likely the first step in the changing of the strategy of U.S.A.

Later, U.S.A.-Russia contacts gained importance. The messages of Obama before the elections of 2012 were quite striking. Especially those ones related to Israel. The U.S.A. kept non-reactive towards the events which started to increase before the presidential election was observed uneasily in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and especially Turkey. Even more, the Turkish Government made remarkable pressure. However, the U.S.A. preferred to keep silent until the end of the elections, as much as possible and it kept its silence for a long while after the elections.

While all these things were happening, Obama's secret negotiation messages in the aspect of relationships with Iran were also remarkable. Upon Obama winning the elections it was clear that the U.S.A. had made serious changes in Middle East policy. Some countries (Turkey being one of them) however, didn't see or didn't want to see the upcoming signal of these changes. And, the exact process became clearer in 2013.

In this aspect, Henry Kissinger's remarks about Israel were likely an indicator of the idea that Middle East would be reformed differently and that the U.S.A. would take its concern about that region elsewhere.

In the international arena, the following remarks on the new strategies of U.S.A. were to be heard:

The U.S.A. will not be at the forefront in the sense of political incidents around the world,

  • It will just watch the events behind the scenes without interfering with them,
  • It will avoid the moves that can ruin the balances,
  • It will stay at the back front till a new balance is obtained in regional crises,
  • It will wait for the local actors to take action in the region of the crises,
  • It will not be exposed to blame; it will lose the position of scapegoat.

Of course the economical unrest that the U.S.A. is going through has a role in its new approach, but the U.S.A tried to show that it doesn't want to be ruined in wars that it clearly cannot win any more. Because: the economical balances on the world are to be transferred to the East, and the sun rising from the East is to lighten the world more and more as time passes. Even if some countries are not pleased, this is the case.

However; in this period, Turkey's insisting attitudes about Syria were taking in the reactions of both the U.S.A-EU and Russia. The social reaction called "Gezi Olayları", that started before the end of May 2013 in Turkey, was accepted as a warning to Turkey about its insists, because these events targeted the government directly and there were rumors about foreign interference. Of course; Syria is not the sole reason. The economical aspect was at the forefront.

The fact that Ruhani, who is more moderate compared to Ahmedi Nejad, was elected in Iranian elections just before the G-8 summit and the modest messages given to the world after the elections were also remarkable.

Moreover, we can see that the actions related to this have become more observable in the 2013 G-8 summits. It was seen that, in a period when the events were on the peak point in Syria, all G-8 members had an agreement on Syria. Russia did evacuate the Tarsus Naval Base in Syria and declared that this naval base didn't have a strategic value which Russia was agreed on either during the G-8 summit or before it.

Just after this event, the Government of Muslim Brothers was abolished by the military interference and Mursi was arrested in July 2013. The most severe reaction was from Turkey on this subject. However, Qatar and Saudi Arabia who had given the biggest support to Turkey about Syria left Turkey alone by announcing that they were in favour of the Military which took the government. Even the new government of Egypt took a negative position towards Turkey and had to withdraw its ambassador in Turkey.

In this particular case, the Turkish Government had a strong resistance to take the international community under its pressure. But, the international platforms never called the military action a "coup". And it was indicating that the international community were going through a structural change and the policies of the region were also going through a change. Namely, the U.S.A. was focusing its interest on the Pacific rather than the Middle East. Except for Turkey, there was a consensus among the actors. (In fact this showed that U.S.A. origined Greater Middle East Initiative had lost its functionality which hasn't seemed possible since the very beginning.)

After these events, Russia played its card of Syria and Syria accepted to open its chemical weapons to supervision which also seemed to have been planned much beforehand. Upon these developments, Turkey, being kept out of international treaties, saw that it was actually a great foreign policy accident in a much clearer way. This was an indicator that the Turkish Government must revise its approaches on foreign policies. Additionally, the international community was not in favor of a new war in the region. It was not remotely possible while the world economy was having such great quakes.

As the U.S.A. declared it would not be involved in the "wars of others" in nearly the same time period was meaningful, in a way. Obama-Ruhani approaches in United Nations meetings were showing that the plan was going on in a regular way. But the Turkish Government, which had been experiencing a different attitude since the beginning, was left alone and out during these developments. Even if the Turkish Government called the situation "Valuable Loneliness", it was clear that it was not the case. The treaties the United Nations signed after Iran accepted to restrict its nuclear program in return for more moderate sanctions put an end to this subject.

All the incidents mentioned above clearly show that the game changed in the Middle East and the players will also be different. That is to say the strategies on Mid-East and Caucasians will be placed on a new base. The EU will obtain the gas and patrol it needs through Russia-Azerbaijan and Iran. Again, China seems to have obtained enough assurance in sense of its energy shortage.

However; while all this was happening, the Turkish Government's intention to sign Patrol Treaties with Barzani who is the Leader of North Iraq despite the reactions from U.S.A. and Iraq Central Government created serious handicaps for Turkey. The Iraq Central Government stated how sensitive they were about this issue by declaring they could see it as a reason for war. The hottest point in this issue is that U.S.A. has reactions towards the fact that the wealth of North Iraq patrols will be kept in Turkey. Again; in the core of the issue are the energy and the fights to share the wealth of energy.

Despite this, Turkey continues to be the most important country in the Middle East. It still protects is current "Bridge" position in the energy and money corridor between U.K. and China. The real matter of question here is how and under what conditions Turkey will take roles in the newly created plan of the region. It will not be wrong to claim that the reason for the storm in this subject is the Turkish Government's effort to determine the role for itself on its own. Turkey will have 3 important elections within 2 years. This case has become the "matter of existence" for the current Turkish Government. Especially, in the aspect judgmental operations held towards the members of Turkish Government in these days, this case has become more serious.

How Turkey will take part in new being created energy concept will become clear according to its policies in the future. It seems as if the Turkish Government will encounter serious resistance in the case of keeping up its current attitude. It cannot be denied that the Turkish government's resistance has the right sides in the sense of national interest . This situation already creates disturbance in the international arena. Because the President of the Turkish State, Honorable Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's address to Putin during the visit of Russia in 2013 November using the expression: ''Permit in us shanghai cooperation organization'' , resulted in opinions that Turkish government doesn't have certain position about foreign policy's arguments and Turkey is in ambiguity. It is not exaggerationn to say that this expression's reflections which can be call as axial dislocation will create a cluster bomb effect. We are not discussing whether it is right or not.

It is still ambiguous as to what kind of a political position Turkey will have after the coming elections. However, Turkey has to apply correct policies in the changing concept of energy and in case of the changing geo-politic and geo-strategic conditions. In order not to have any problem about energy, Turkey has to give necessary importance to not only the petroleum and natural gas but also other energy sources that it already possesses.

Turkey needs to make radical changes that can guide the next government in future in the strategy plan created in 2009, and this plan should be turned into a State Policy by giving remarkable importance to local energy resources. Because: we think Turkey needs to have strong argument in hands in case of possible energy wars. Otherwise, it can be neither a regional nor a global actor but to just be an implementer of policies.

However: since the beginning of 2012 Turkey made a refrain about renewable energy and several energy investments were not allowed. The problems still goes on especially both because there haven't been legislations to accelerate investments and investors haven't been satisfied about for their actions. Yet; these problems can be eliminated with the help of some simple regulations.

Beside this, it seems that there are serious plans about coal and the government will give support to this. In a statement from the government in summer months of 2013, it was reported that until 2023, 36 billion dollars investment on thermal power plants is planned. Considering that an average plant costs 2-2,5 billion dollars; this number makes nearly 15-18 thermal plant. Of course that depends on how many MW those plants would have. Again in another statement by Taner Yıldız, Minister of Energy, in November 2013, it was shared with the press that a French Energy Firm- GDF SUEZ- is planning a 7-8 billion Euro energy investment in Turkey and it focuses on thermal plants. Moreover; in international publications it is reported that Turkey is among the countries where Canada is planning to make investments on shale gas.

At the core of the matter, an axial shift is not a matter in energy policies in the world and there has been a serious consensus about the distribution of energy sources. It cannot be foreseen how long this case will last. However; the discomfort of Israel that feels its security in danger after these treaties and that may show survival reflexes, may cause serious changes in regional policies in forthcoming years. We believe that this possibility is strong.

In this sense, Israel will not feel secure in case of an Iran, which will be richer and stronger due to the decreasing sanctions, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Of course, the fact that the U.S.A. will protect its interests will be effective on this issue. Again, it seems possible that Israel will have serious problems with Iran, Iraq and Syria unless there is a rational recovery in Turkey's foreign policies. We think that 2016 will be a year in which the world should be very careful.

In spite of all this, Turkey is protecting its most strategic position in this energy corridor. In a period when the war strategies are going through a serious change - in case there aren't extraordinary situation in future political and economical wars will be experienced more than physical wars. However; this case can be the opposite way around and the struggle to survive can take Middle East into the point of a serious war. (2016 deserves attention)

Yet, it should not be forgotten that, in these lands-Middle East - anything that Iran, Turkey and Russia don't approve at the same time is not likely to happen. This case is not an "ego", on the contrary it is a historical fact. Because; analyzing the past in a healthy way is the most important argument of leading the future. Seemingly, the U.S.A. seems to have perceived this issue. If not, it means that there will be serious problems in the future. Besides, adding the rise of East to this issue, neither U.S.A. and U.K. nor Germany will be able to keep indifferent to this situation.

In this point we can say that; on the way to a "regional power" Turkey first needs to build its own energy competence and to strengthen it. Turkey cannot be a player in the region as long as it is dependent on foreign sources, petrol and gas cartels for energy. For this, Turkey needs to start using other energy sources rationally; renewable sources being on the first order and while doing so it needs to follow international conjuncture. Owing to the competition with European countries (particularly Germany) about technological investments on renewable energy, Turkey can both make a sprint about renewable energy and easily help create a new industrial branch in the country. The incomes of this argument will be too remarkable to underestimate.

It will make Turkey more powerful in the process of designing its future to see that industrializing the usage of renewable energy sources can have an engine power in many fields.

In fact, Turkey has a much more important position than the past. In coming years the world will see it more clearly. Especially, after the year of 2016 when Turkey will be among the most important countries in the world.

There are many different arguments. But, for the time being, we are content with just uttering these arguments as these foresights will take time to be realized. When the time comes, we will state the reasons for these foresights in our third article.

We finish our article with the question we asked at the end of our first article.

How much can you foresee the future?

Key Words:

Turkey, energy, energy corridor, world energy corridor,Turkey's Strategic Importance , ABD, U.S.A., Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Syria , Germany, Middle East, GDF SUEZ, Obama, Ruhani, Barzani, Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Engin Düzgün, Düzgün & Kırancı Law Office,

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions