The struggle between the U.S. and Russia for the energy and trade corridor between the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf dates back to the 1960s. The Arab-Israeli wars in 1967 affected the future of the entire Middle East with Israel's defeat of Soviet-backed Arabs. Do you remember the federation that Egypt, Libya and Sudan established in 1970, and Syria established in 1971? The Soviets were carrying out intensive work on military modernization and cooperation in all of these countries, and Iraq's Saddam Hussein had occupied Kuwait by trusting in the Soviets. The latest airstrikes by the U.S., Britain and France on Syrian regime targets is a reflection of the past 50 years of conflict. Britain and France have been trying to shape this region for the past century. France's involvement in the recent missile strikes in Syria stems from President Emmanuel Macron's need to show himself in the Levant, which was once under Franc's political domination.
Following the end of the Cold War in 1991, Saddam believed that Turkey had fallen out of favor. He sent his deputy Taha Yassin Ramadan to the President Turgut Özal, who was recently remembered on the 25th year of his passing this week. He said to Ramadan: "Our boys are not like the American soldiers. Ten thousand of our soldiers will be martyrs, but you will lose 100,000 soldiers. We would not be satisfied with that. We will come as far as Baghdad, we will not go back until we hang you and Saddam in the middle of Baghdad." Saddam relied on his strong relations with the Soviets until it became close to the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq War in 1979, but was grasping at straws following the invasion of Kuwait. Saddam told his circle Gorbachev sold them out. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he did what he wanted in the unipolar world, in the U.S. and Middle East, until Russia returned to the Middle East in 2006 with President Vladimir Putin.
Turkey, on the other hand, showed that is it not possible to open up an energy or commerce corridor from the eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf without itself as a playmaker in Eurasia by bringing its gross domestic product (GDP) from $236 billion to $860 billion by realizing megaprojects that the world admires and its national-local arms and ammunition equipped with high technology in defense over the past 15 years. The effective diplomacy pursued by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan between Russia, the U.S., EU and Iran and the operation capabilities of the Turkish Armed Forces' Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch rendered useless the eastern Mediterranean-Persian Gulf corridor that the U.S. has been trying to establish since 2001. Russia's position in western Syria and the floundering of the U.S. in Syria and Iraq are 50-year-old stories. We will continue to follow Turkey's contribution as it advances its geostrategic capability and supremacy, its energy balance and development of the region.
Energy: Turkey's diplomatic power
We are going through a period in which global planning on how to meet demands of food, accommodation and energy on the global scale is assessed for the world's population, which should reach 11.3 billion by 2100. Asia, whose population will rise to 5.3 billion by 2060, and India and China, whose total population will reach 3.5 billion, will be the countries that will demand the most energy and food from the global system. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, who represented Turkey at the 4th Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue Conference, said that these countries are positioned as producers in the global economy and that Asia will also become a primary consumer in the near future. Let's not forget that the global political economy's new rising element represented by the E7, which includes China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey. Its weight in global production was 37 percent in 2016, 6 percent higher than that the G7's share of 31 percent from the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.
This means that while the weight of the G7 will fall to 22 percent in 2060, that the E7's weight will increase to 48 percent points out to the need to plan and execute strategies and investments to meet the energy needs of the E7, starting today. The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry's energy transformation strategy is based on three main topics and the move toward domestic resources in energy under Albayrak's leadership aims to transform Turkey's capabilities in energy into diplomatic power. Turkey's domestic investment moves in energy realized in succession and its megaprojects are all moves that support Turkey's specific weight and diplomatic move into the African and Asian hinterlands as a playmaker.
That Turkey is a country that produces and develops renewable energy technologies that can mobilize its domestic technologies for the development of Africa is a point that augments Turkey's diplomatic power with its contributions to the sustainable and encompassing development of Eurasia. Albayrak has said that being a leading country in renewable energy as one of the important targets under the energy translation strategy carried out through the main points of energy supply security, nationalization and energy efficiency. Turkey, which meets EU and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) energy demands with its means of domestic supply riveted with nuclear energy will transform energy into a strategic industry that drives current account surpluses rather than deepening deficits.
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