Since June last year we have been through a hard and dark period which began with the Gezi incidents and was followed by the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 operations successively. At times we were stressed and sank into desperation; however we did not go further than that. Turkish citizens went to the ballot boxes on March 30 and put an end to this mood of pessimism.
Conversely, there are those who still pin their hopes upon Turkey's regression for the forthcoming presidential election and they are striving to no end as Turkey is continuing to take center stage both in the region and the world.
Let us look carefully at what has been happening since last week. The foundations of Istanbul's third airport were laid on Saturday. We are talking about a major project that will be constructed by Turkish companies with a sizeable investment of 22 billion euros (TL 62.13 billion). In spite of those who object to it, the German Press Agency (DPA) gave a wide coverage to this worldshaking project. "While Berlin is dreaming of a new airport, Istanbul puts this into practice. An airport that will render service to approximately 150 million passengers per year is being constructed. Last year, Frankfurt Airport, the largest distribution point of Germany, served to a total of 58 million passengers. Like many other megaprojects, this is also carried out by Prime Minister Erdoğan," [a spokesman said].
The second project is Turkey's largest private sector investment of Aliağa, on the Aegean coast, amounting to $10 billion. The contractor of this huge investment is Azerbaijan's largest company, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).
On Friday SOCAR signed a $3.29 billion financing deal with 23 banks for its Turkish subsidiary, Turkey Aegean Refinery (STAR Refinery), for the construction of a refinery in İzmir. This is the largest and the longest-term credit agreement of project finance in the history of the real sector.
Kenan Yavuz, head of SOCAR's Turkish branch, noted that this is a historical step, stating "we are putting the most important project of the strategic partnership into effect. Our refinery is the first and largest one undertaken by the private sector in Turkey's history." Yavuz also said that they made an investment of $20 billion including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline in Turkey. He made promising inferences about the future and stated, "As SOCAR, we are fulfilling our promises to the Turkish public one by one. We are managing an investment portfolio which will penetrate into the deepest network of Turkey's industry, increase Turkey's competitive capacity, level down the current deficit and enhance the possibilities of exportation and employment as well as contribute to Turkey's targets regarding 2023."
This is a remarkable investment both for Turkey and Azerbaijan and should push Turkey into an economic rise similar to May last year
Despite all the desperation imposed upon it, Turkey is still the center of attention in its region and the world. Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Fikri Işık summarizes the current situation: "Previously, we were attracting one billion dollars of foreign capital on average per year.
However, SOCAR alone will make a foreign direct investment of two billion dollars in Turkey. This project will also provide employment opportunity for 10,000 people. This is a clear indication of the difference between the old and new Turkey." As Turkey confronts its obstacles, it opens the way for democracy and hence these developments.