BST – Kadir Has Üniversitesi – CIES | www.academia.edu |
Turkey signed two significant energy agreements at the end of 2011. As a consequence, theseaccords set off a new competition for natural gas-centered energy projects around Turkey. Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Iran and the European Union are the main actors in this contest.This paper aims to assess all the related and ensuing developments in the Black Sea Regionthrough the lenses of Turkey’s role, strategy and priorities.
The Black Sea region has gained much importanceover the last two decades as it has become hostto alternative routes for the transportation of Caspian, Central Asian and even Middle Easternhydrocarbon resources to European Union (EU)countries. The fundamental constituents of thisnetwork are regional countries, as consumer andtransit countries, suppliers of neighboring regionsand consumer countries of the EU.
In additionto the particular energy policies of individualcountries in the network, the EU approaches theenergy issue within the cooperation schemes of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) andEastern Partnership (EaP) initiative. At this point,two actors stand out among the others in the Black Sea region as a transit region between suppliersand consumers: the Russian Federation and Turkey.The expectations, needs and roles of these twocountries, critical to issues related to the Black searegion, differ widely from each other. While Russiais both a reserve and a transit country, Turkey is aconsumer and a transit country.
Turkey’s increasing demand for energy and its dependency on foreignresources places it in a different position thanRussia. Both countries’ relations with the EU also bring new dimensions to this diversity. Despitesome commonalities in approaching regional issues,Turkey has distinguished itself from Russia on such issues as security and regional configurations with its collaborative actions with the UnitedStates (US) and other Western powers. Despite allof these differences, since the early 2000s Turkeyand Russia have developed an economic and tradecentered relationship. Energy, on the other hand, brings a regional dimension as the driving force of this bilateral cooperation.
Although this cooperation has caused Turkey to become energy dependent, political cooperation,in addition to economic and trade cooperation, between the two countries has generated importantregional impact. In this regard, the Black Sea region is defined as a non-regionalized area under the infiuence/control of these two actors.
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