Turkey can compete on natural gas
If Turkey completes its energy corridor project by 2010, it will be able to compete for natural gas demand of Europe, said Jonathan Adiri in an opinion article in daily Yedioth Ahronoth published in Israel.
Jonathan Adiri who is the Director of U.S. Projects at the Reut Institute for Policy Planning, said completion of Turkey's energy corridor project, "the Grid", would cause significant developments in the region, and would guarantee Turkey's position as an energy hub.
The analyst stated that "these changes might yield a substantive strategic change, which will provide effective leverages for the international community vis-a'-vis Iran" and weaken the "Russian iron fist in the Caucasus."
He also claimed that if the international community persists in its "irresolute conduct," Turkey might turn eastward which would have a negative effect on global security.
Adiri said, "July 2006 saw the completion of first phase in the ambitious Turkish energy project, also known as 'The Grid.'
Strengthening this Turkish effort might weaken the Iranian-Russian stronghold of the Caucasus energy and create major reciprocal tensions in both countries national security goals - getting them to possibly re-think their 'deal.'"
Stating that the Baku-Ceyhan natural gas pipeline holds great potential for "unleashing the energy reserves of the Caucasus," Adiri said, "the current Russian monopoly on the pipeline-transfer of natural gas (without going through the dangerous and expensive transformation process to liquid gas for transfer in tankers or aboard trucks) is already beginning to weaken at its fringes.
Foreign direct investment in this project will transform these fringe cracks into a trend."
The article indicates that Russian influence in the Caucasus might weaken if Turkey completes the Grid by 2010 as a result of which it might be able to compete for the natural gas demand of Europe.
The possibility of Turkey, turning its face to the East is also discussed in the article saying this is also an expectation of Iran.
In his article, Adiri criticizes international community for being "reluctant and sluggish" in its approach towards Turkey.
The article counts three issues (Kurdish separatism, EU integration and recognition of its important regional status) as issues that have to be resolved with the international community, adding, "the international community failed to engage Turkey on all three."
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY IS CLOSING
Adiri reminds that Turkey is approaching elections and continues, "the window of opportunity is closing and the price to pay for Turkey's turn East is surging.
"Invested international parties, from the EU to the USA and Israel (concerning Iran mainly) should provide the Turkish with a political-economic package that will boost the completion of the grid and dissuade it from turning east. The price for this return is just getting higher."