Sabah daily columnist Mahmut Övür, who accompanied Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu during his visit to Brussels, wrote of his concerning impressions recently. Övür dwelled on the following remarks of a journalist who closely follows the EU: "Those who look from this angle can see that the primary objective of what is being done in Turkey is to remove the government, and particularly President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, from power. The deep structures and intelligence of large EU countries have a hand in this. It is known to anyone that the Gezi [Park protests] were organized by the German intelligence from beginning to end, and that the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 coups were organized by Mossad, and a number of civilian-looking organizations have relations with these intelligence services, although they remain silent." Övür says that nowadays, one of the primary aims is to create the appearance of an economic crisis in Turkey, adding, "Everything is being done to remove capital, particularly Arab capital, from Turkey. Since the military coup in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have changed their attitude, now Qatar is doing the same."
I think this argument is worth pondering, as Gulf countries are bewildered due to plummeting oil prices, while the oligarchic administrations of these countries are hastily seeking a way out. Moreover, petrodollar-rich "small" Arab countries that shook hands with Egypt's former General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi have suddenly adopted a stance against Turkey, suspending investments in the country and forgetting their promises. Well, could this be because of the "advantages" offered to them by Egypt, but which were unknown to us? The coup-maker Egyptian government, beyond any doubt, is not a legitimate government. At the moment, they are striving to form a new bloc that is centered on Egypt and to plan an outlet for the Middle East, where Egypt will be the commercial and economic hub, rather than Turkey. Gulf countries, which have been shocked by the falling oil prices, are naturally hiding behind global financial capital and Egypt. Let me state in advance that you cannot build a new economy and politics by hiding behind an illegitimate government that has committed crimes against humanity. This scheme will fail, leading Gulf countries into a much tougher spot. The world consumes 91 million barrels of oil a day. Furthermore, oil consumption is on the decrease due to the diversification of alternative energy resources such as gasoline, diesel oil and jet fuels used in land and air transport. A total of 31 million barrels of this oil is produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries, with around one-third of it being produced by Saudi Arabia. Leaving aside Kuwait and the UAE, which make common cause with Saudi Arabia, almost all OPEC countries currently produce oil to their maximum capacity. This is mainly because oil is the main source of income for OPEC members. Let us also remember that the U.S. and the U.K., in order to punish Russia, forced an increase in supply by using their influence on Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries.
Kuwait and Qatar need to sell each barrel of oil for around $70 to balance their budgets, but this figure nears $100 when it comes to Saudi Arabia, and as far as Iran, Libya and Venezuela are concerned, it goes up to $140. Current oil prices, which have hit $45 per barrel, are literally the beginning of an economic downturn for these countries.
Apart from OPEC, Russia and the U.S. are the top oil producers. It is not that easy for Russia to reduce oil production as a country that is exposed to an embargo by the U.S. and EU countries.
Countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait will encounter serious budget deficits. Gulf countries will have to sell their stakes in foreign banks, industrial corporations and companies one by one, including Apple, IBM, GM, Philip Morris and Mercedes, which were purchased with the petrodollar - a situation which irritates global financial capital.
They want Turkey to go into its shell like it has done previously, and for such projects as the Southern Gas Corridor, not to join Russia's and Iran's energy projects, and for oil prices to remain as high as before. However, this is no longer possible. As long as Turkey includes the Iraqi Kurdish, Caspian and Caucasian resources in world trade, both natural gas and oil prices will remain at normal levels. Thus, we are switching to a period of normal competitive pricing from high oligopolistic prices. Undoubtedly, this is a dynamic that will not only change the map of the Middle East, but also the political map of Europe, starting with southern Europe.