U.S. President Donald Trump has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced his decision to relocate the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, stirring reactions from around the world. The U.S. has become isolated because of its decision.
As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan iterated, Turkey has a clear position that Jerusalem is the red line for Turkey. So, as a country that brings together Muslim countries and heads the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Turkey will assume a leading role. Well, how did Trump make a decision that goes against the interests of the U.S. itself too?
Let me note that Trump cannot fix the difficult and weak state of his country by gathering the Israeli lobby in the U.S. to himself. Quite the contrary, the isolation of the U.S. first in the Middle East and then in Europe and the entire world will stalemate Trump, who has further driven himself to a tight corner against those aspiring to remove him. Those who are striving to drive him to the wall through the Russia case must be certainly rubbing their hands in glee after this move. I think Trump has been sorely deceived by his decision on Jerusalem and has been isolated both in the U.S. and the world.
Well, what will happen next? Let me note that this decision is absolutely not applicable, and nothing will actually change in Jerusalem. The U.S. and Israel will become isolated all over the world. Trump has also jeopardized Israel's security with this decision. Also, it will become difficult for Israel to access Mediterranean natural gas resources and it will not be able to use Mediterranean natural gas resources which do not join Turkey's Southern Gas Corridor.
On the other hand, Erdoğan's visit to Greece has become even more important in this sense. Erdoğan will speak on the issue both to the Orthodox and Catholic parts of the Christian world. Of course, there are other important topics of Erdoğan's visit to Greece.
We can say that Greece is still in the grip of a great crisis today. The European Union's big countries like Germany have obviously exported the crisis to small countries like Greece.
How can Greece overcome this crisis? The old trade and energy routes will no longer work for the EU after this crisis. The new Silk Road and related trade route networks are highlighting railway transport instead of more costly ground and sea transportation. The middle and southern trade routes coming from the Pacific region will carry out fast railway transportation through Turkey.
On the other hand, Turkey is bringing the Azerbaijani Caspian Sea natural gas resources to Western Thrace via the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and this line will continue with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). In other words, Greece will have to carry energy and carry out trade through Turkey in the future. Turkey is carrying Russian natural gas to Europe through TurkStream in the north. Energy will reach Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor and TurkStream through Turkey both in the north and south. Greece is the key country for the south.
Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot administration is constantly creating political crises and also blocks the resolution of the Cyprus issue by taking advantage of Greece's crisis. It is pushing Greece to a deadlock in the Mediterranean. A fair solution in Cyprus and the fair distribution of Mediterranean resources to the regional economies will serve the common interests of Turkey and Greece. The commercialization of these resources regardless of the Southern Gas Corridor is not possible both economically and politically.
Greece cannot overcome the crisis by implementing austerity policies imposed by Germany and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and by using the euro in the eurozone. If it insists on this, it will be a satellite of Germany in the EU and of Israel in the Mediterranean.
Within this framework, Turkish-Greek relations should be addressed on a different level. The projects of ferry services about human transportation and freight transport from İzmir to Thessaloniki, the construction of a high-speed railway route from Istanbul to Thessaloniki and the construction of a bridge construction between Kipi and İpsala customs gates, all of which will gain currency during Erdoğan's visit, point to a good start.
However, Turkey and Greek should go beyond this and make new trade agreements considering this new situation in energy, transport and finance. In fact, all Greece's current problems are the problems of all southern and eastern European countries without any exception. And the first step to solve this problem is to cooperate with Turkey.