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  • Author: Shahrokh Fardoust
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The region has incurred huge economic and social losses from poor economic management and conflicts requiring massive military outlays. A policy shift is needed to deploy its substantial human, natural, and financial assets more efficiently through adopting economic and social policies that lead to more rapid and inclusive economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa. The four most powerful players in the region—Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Turkey—need to spearhead regional political and economic stabilization to address the root problems. Major regional infrastructure projects in energy, water, and transport are needed to better integrate their economies and expand intra-regional and world-wide trade. This policy paper argues that the major regional players should each follow a coherent long-term development strategy requiring four prongs plus cooperation: Reduce regional tensions and end conflicts through diplomacy and by recognizing that the current approaches are impeding investment and economic growth. Undertake significant economic and institutional reforms at home to remove binding constraints on growth, revitalize the private sector, improve financial access by small and medium-sized businesses, and improve the quality of education. Focus on well-targeted policies and structural reforms that would lead to significant reductions in youth employment and increased female labor force participation; and introduce cuts in military expenditures as regional tensions subside, and reallocate public investment savings to clean energy and infrastructure investments. Increase inter- and intra-regional cooperation and trade, initiate regional projects in partnership with the private sector in areas such as tourism, air and ground transport, regional energy and water, regional health and education, and research hubs. To support these initiatives, a regional development and reconstruction program supported by a 'mini-Marshall Plan' is urgently needed.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Infrastructure, Reform, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Esra Gürakar, H. Ceren Zeytinoğlu, K. İpek Miscioğlu, R. Evren Aydoğan
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The insights gained from the research and advocacy efforts of the first phase of SELDI put forward that energy is one of the most susceptible sectors to corruption in all nine SELDI partner countries. Turkey differs from the rest of the SELDI countries in terms of energy sector and state-owned enterprise (SOE) sizes, dynamics, and recent debates.
  • Topic: Corruption, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, State, Accountability, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Elif Burcu Günaydin
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: South-Eastern Mediterranean gas findings have raised much interest in recent years. Even though the estimated quantity of reserves is not globally significant, it is enough to be a regional game changer, promising a considerable amount of gas surplus to be exported. The main export route and potential customers are still being debated. Turkey, with its growing gas consumption, geographical location and existing pipeline system, is considered to be the most feasible option both as a customer and a transport route. Nevertheless, the fact that Israel and Cyprus, with whom Turkey had difficult relations, are the first two explorers of significant resources complicates considerably the situation. Optimistically, the reserves may lead to a solution to the Cyprus conflict and restore diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey. However, energy resources are known to be a double-edged sword that can lead to collaboration but also to conflict. Either way, gas production will find its way to the markets. It will be up to regional actors to decide whether this way will be paved via interim agreements or via a permanent settlement that could initiate regional energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Olgu Okumus
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since the international media reported crude oil flowing from the KRG to Turkey, doubts about the act's legality, political acceptability and opacity have surfaced. This oil trade is commercially enticing for energy-hungry Turkey, but is also politically risky. The Turkish government's lack of transparency regarding the KRG energy deal's economic and technical aspects has triggered domestic criticism - an especially risky proposition given the proximity of next year's election - and the KRG deal may also hinder international reliance on Turkey as a reliable energy hub. Turkey would be better advised to position itself as a partner for the export of Iraqi oil and gas, without making any distinction between federal and regional authorities. An Ankara-Erbil-Baghdad partnership based on normalized energy relations would help Turkey build new energy bridges with the EU, reducing gas prices for European consumers and strengthening Turkey-EU relations.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Oil, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Elif Burcu Günaydın
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: South-Eastern Mediterranean gas fields are still under exploration and development. Meanwhile, the question of which route or routes such gas would take into the global markets remains unanswered. The various possible routes appear to be problematic either politically or financially, leaving development stifled. However, with the crisis between Russia and Ukraine deepening Europe's interest in diversification of supplies, and with gas field owners and developers eager to monetise the resources, Eastern Mediterranean gas could become a potential source for the European Union. This paper tries to answer whether the South-Eastern Mediterranean resources can be regarded as a considerable supply for Europe and, if so, what are the alternative routes that would benefit all the parties involved.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus
  • Author: Sohbet Karbuz
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze EU-Turkey relations from an energy perspective. Energy is of mutual strategic interest to Turkey and the EU, insofar as both face serious and multiple energy challenges. Both Turkey and the EU seek to bridge supply and demand, and to establish a more competitive, diverse, secure and sustainable energy system. Common challenges and complementary objectives offer an unparalleled opportunity for the EU and Turkey to intensify cooperation and deepen integration in this field. To that end, this paper discusses the growing relevance of energy in the EU-Turkey relationship, focusing on Turkey's increasing importance in enhancing EU energy security. It then examines how future energy challenges could be turned into opportunities. Turkey and the EU have a lot to gain from close cooperation and deeper integration in the field of energy. However, the full potential of such cooperation and integration can best met by opening the energy chapter in Turkey's accession negotiations.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Olgu Okumus
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Olgu Okumuş, a PhD candidate at SciencePo, deliberates on the issue of energy in Turkey due to Turkey’s aim of meeting its growing energy demand and being an energy transit hub. Okumuş discusses the advantages that the energy liberalization policies such as privatization and diversification of resources will bring to the country’s economy. In addition, she talks about the two main challenges of lowering energy pricing and carbon emission and put forth solutions for overcoming these challenges.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Privatization, Natural Resources, Governance, Economy, Trade Liberalization
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Fatih Özgür Yeni
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Energy security is one of the hot topics on the European energy agenda. The EU's Southern Energy Corridor initiative is an attempt to reduce dependence on Russian supplies by tapping into Caspian and Middle-Eastern natural gas resources. Turkey, who aspires to be a regional energy hub, has emerged as the key country in the Southern Corridor. Although the TAP project in its current state satisfies neither Turkey's energy hub ambitions nor the EU's resource diversification efforts, it may serve as the first building block of the Southern Corridor. There are promising developments in the region that can increase volumes and add new routes to the initiative. Private companies have already shown their interest in developing a pipeline infrastructure for possible South-East Mediterranean and Northern Iraq natural gas exports but complex geopolitical issues pose the greatest threat to the way ahead. Thanks to its unique location, Turkey is destined to be one of the key players in the Southern Corridor. The convergence of Turkey's energy hub ambitions and the EU's energy security objectives present mutual gains, but also demand sustained collaboration between the two in light of several technical, legal and political hurdles.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Burak Bilgehan Özpek
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The emergence of an energy security crisis between Russia and European countries has cast doubt on the argument that commercial ties lead to peaceful political relations between states as the energy trade between Russia and Europe has been inclined to generate conflict rather than cooperation. Nevertheless, the crisis has showed that military security issues no longer dominate the agenda and that issues produce different degrees of cooperation and conflict between governments. Furthermore, governments cannot use military force in order to resolve issues in an era of interdependence. Therefore, the European Union (EU), which suffers from an asymmetric dependence on energy resources imported from or via Russia, has adopted a diversification policy. This policy not only affects energy security but also the EU's enlargement process. Accordingly, a diversification policy requires embracing alternative energy sources, such as Turkey's involvement in oil and gas pipeline projects bypassing Russia. Thus, Turkey's contribution to European energy security creates an interdependence, which could affect Turkey's relations with the EU.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Eastern Mediterranean tensions have risen since late 2011, when Greek Cypriots unilaterally began drilling in their rich offshore hydrocarbon reserves and Turkey responded with tough criticism and threatening naval manoeuvres. Contested maritime boundaries and exploration of natural gas deposits off the divided island are the sources of the current dispute, but tensions also result from the slow-down of UN-mediated Cyprus reunification talks. A paradigm shift is needed. The gas can drive the communities further apart and increase discords, or it can provide an opportunity for officials from all sides, including Turkey, to sit down and reach agreements on the exploitation and transportation of this new find.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Energy Policy, International Political Economy, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey