Energy Conflict and Cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean
Turkey has a strategically valuable position between the energy-producing countries and energy consuming countries. From this perspective, the geography where Turkey is positioned is very precious in terms of energy geopolitics. This position offers the opportunity to safely transport the Caspian, Russian and Middle Eastern energy resources to the world markets via Turkey. For today, when energy security is carefully discussed, sustainable and stable energy supply has become important for developed and developing countries. Thus, Turkey has begun to focus on energy projects. That Turkey implements its energy projects will, on the one hand, lay the groundwork for the transformation of the country into an energy commercial center, and, on the other, contribute to the region’s energy security.
When we look at the historical process, it is seen that energy sources based on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas have an undeniable effect on the course of international relations. Population growth and developing economies have increased the demand and dependency of countries upon energy. This increase in energy demand has naturally brought about the international competition for energy resources. The competition at the same time has directed countries towards high-scale and costly energy investments to meet their energy needs.
In this context, according to the data of International Energy Agency, it is estimated that a total of 66.5 trillion dollars will be invested in the energy sector on a global scale between 2016 and 2040.1 With the transformation of economy into a very tight structure bound to energy, the easy access to energy resources such as oil and gas has taken its place among the sine qua non of the international economy. For this reason, in addition to the fact that oil and natural gas are considered as strategic assets with the high value associated with production, finance and credit systems, they are also regarded as a national security problem. Furthermore, the direct proportion between economic growth and energy demand increases the demand of the countries for dollar and thus, ensures that the dollar maintains its international power.