The 22nd World Petroleum Congress is being held in Istanbul. When oil is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is billions of dollars in the petro-dollar economy, the Middle East and endless civil wars because of oil. The whole of the 20th century was determined by wars of oil-related energy and oil-based industries and markets, including the two big world wars. Unlike the previous century, the energy struggle in this century is being staged because of natural gas as well as oil.
The oil and natural gas resources of the Eastern Mediterranean, northern Iraq and the Caspian Sea are determining the realpolitik arena these days. The irreconcilable attitude of the Greek Cypriot administration in Cyprus and its rejection of a peaceful settlement, the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) referendum decision, which is dangerous in all respects, the Gulf countries embarking on new political quests depending on the falling oil revenues and their attitude driven by the idea that "The big fish eats the little one" against Qatar and Russia's new regional strategy, what lies behind all these political developments is the repartition of old and new energy sources and potential new energy fields in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Caucasus.
On the other hand, the petro-dollar system, which the U.S. developed in the early 1970s as the main pillar of its century-old hegemony, is also one of the mainstays of the current global economic and political hegemony. The petro-dollar system is an alliance between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the U.S., which was developed after the U.S.'s official termination of the dollar's dependency on gold in 1971 and the 1973 oil crisis. Accordingly, OPEC members would sell oil only on a dollar basis and these petro-dollars would be diversified through the U.S. banking system in financial markets. As Saudi Arabia was the dominant player here, the Saudi currency was fixed on the dollar. This agreement between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. was not only an energy game, but also a form of capital accumulation and hegemony. The petro-dollars were spent on armaments and the illegal financing of politics in the Middle East and developing countries. In other words, the budgets and bribes that were called "aid," and which were allocated to the bureaucracy and armament budgets in these countries to sustain coups and dictator regimes, were the ordinary trade dynamics of the petro-dollar system. Throughout this whole process, coups and coalition governments, which could not survive more than two years, moved Turkey's parliamentary system away from being a structure that reflected the national will.In fact, Turkey's rise in recent years and its steps to upset the regional energy balances are one of the main reasons for the current turbulence. Today, the U.S. has nearly $20 trillion in domestic and foreign debt, while its debt to other countries in terms of dollar-denominated bonds and bills is above $6 trillion. The petro-dollar system is one of the main dynamics of this debt.
All energy-rich countries, especially the Gulf region, have financed the U.S. for nearly a century. The petro-dollar system produced not only distorted wealth, but also war and terror-based politics. Today, two countries, China and Japan, have more than $1 trillion in U.S. treasury bills and bonds. China is the factory of the world, while Japan is the advanced technology base of the world. China comes to the fore in labor productivity, while Japan stands out with its technological productivity. In other words, the profit gained from the world's labor and technological productivity is flowing to the U.S. through the worthless dollar mechanism and, from the U.S., they are distributed to the whole world as debt. Another portion of this money goes to offshore banking centers such as the Cayman Islands that are tax and hedge fund havens.
However, two major developments happened in recent years - especially after the 2008 financial crisis. First, countries like Turkey developed a strategy against the old energy and market cycle in their region, and started commercializing and controlling regional sources with new pipelines such as the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project. Second, the Gulf states, which are the petro-dollar centers, started to assess their huge savings outside the petro-dollar system - which was mainly driven by the integration of new important markets and trade routes originating from the Pacific region and reaching Europe via Turkey. Thus, the Gulf states also began reducing their demand for U.S. bonds and money with the impetus of hoarding by following the Pacific countries that ran foreign trade surpluses. We also came to see that Saudi Arabia was gradually reducing its dollar assets. Qatar was one of the key countries in this regard for many reasons.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, big hegemonic countries controlled the oil resources they could not reach, only by forcing to grant privileges to the global oil companies at their disposal. These privileges were possible only through puppet political powers.
Now, these privileges are disappearing and new natural gas and oil resources are passing to the privilege of sovereign states. Turkey is carrying out the world's largest natural gas flow through both the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) and the TurkStream project. This step will change the world's energy balances. Even this point alone tells why stable democracies like Turkey are not wanted in the region and why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is targeted. However, no one should forget that leaders like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are the only remedy to terrorism and economic crises. This is because sources and natural wealth are reflected to everyone as common welfare thanks to strong democratic administrations and strong and democratic political will. Of course, the robbers who want to suffocate the world with terrorism and seize this wealth by creating chaos do not want these strong democracies and their leaders.
It would be good to view the scenarios to turn Turkey into an Egypt and stage civil-war oriented coups from this perspective on the first anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt.
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