The next 10 years of global economy-politics will focus on two critical maritime areas, the Eastern Mediterranean and the South China Sea. The estimated 3.4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas for the Eastern Mediterranean, and the estimated 213 trillion barrels of underground resources for the South China Sea, according to Chinese sources, and 11 billion barrels, or 5 trillion cubic meters, of natural gas reserves, according to U.S. sources, constitute a critical conflict and field of competition for the U.S., Russia and China. For both marine areas, there is also a very detailed discussion on the exclusive economic zones between the countries of the regions.
The potential for groundwater resources in the Eastern Mediterranean in terms of the economic and technological facilities of the country makes the Turkey corridor indisputably necessary to reach the European market, one of the world's most important energy consumers.
Having said that, the United States, Russia and China all have expectations from southern Turkey regarding the examination of both the seabed and the subsoil underground resources under their control. This is why a policy of tensions is also being carried out over the Sunni-Shiite fault line in the region through the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to dominate energy resources.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak reiterated at the 4th Ministers Meeting of Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Board that Turkey is determined to use its rights stemming from international law until the end, especially for the Eastern Mediterranean. He also said Turkey is committed to more effective seismic and drilling activities within its maritime boundaries and that if Turkish Cyprus is disregarded in sharing the island's wealth, Turkey would be against it until the end. Albayrak said that the Southern Gas Corridor, which created a large value chain from production to consumer with an investment of $45 billion, and especially Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) are important and vital projects for Turkey's energy supply security and its National Energy and Mining Strategy.
In the past five years, in order to contribute to Europe's energy supply security, every project that even imagined to transport natural gas resources from the Eastern Mediterranean without using the Turkey corridor were put aside in their initial stages. Therefore, each country that wants a role in securing Europe's energy supply is aware that it needs to sit down with Turkey.
Turkey's rights of sovereignty and military globalization
In an environment where Russia and China have rapidly globalized their military power and where China has acquired the Canadian Tanganyika via the Sinopec Energy Group, which holds the right to use significant underground resources in Syria, while the military spending of the U.S. shrank by 5 percent from 2007 to 2016, we observed that China increased its military spending by almost 120 percent, and Russia by 85 percent. Regarding the multipolar second cold war period, Turkey is clenching more its political and military power in the Eastern Mediterranean with Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch. Turkey is determined to not let anyone take advantage of its rights from history and national sovereignty with its National Energy and Mining Strategy, which Albayrak also reiterated.
International defense experts carefully monitor China's capacity and technical skills to develop many defense technologies, from long-range conventional ballistic missiles to fifth-generation warplanes. For example, according to international experts, the battle capacity of the Type 55 series war ship launched by China in 2017 points to a technical capacity that NATO should be carefully regarding. It is also known that China is working on a second aircraft carrier. Including the giant military bases built in the South China Sea, China is acting as if it is drafting a critically important military strategy for a major battle that it believes will ultimately take place between the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific, and it is focused on a serious technological leap toward this strategy.
The process that gave great military skills on the ground and during Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch was Turkey reaching 70 percent in terms of local production for its weapons and ammunition. Particularly, Turkey who is successfully gathering military intelligence with its own unmanned aerial vehicles and domestic software and hardware continues to fight against terrorism with a high success rate in the field. We will see that many new pipeline projects will rapidly begin through the Turkey corridor for the security of the global energy supply, including Turkey ensuring stability in Iraq and Syria.