Regions / Europe

'Gazprom’s Refocus on Europe: The Replacement of the South Stream Pipeline with the Turkish Stream Pipeline' by Jeylan Mammadova

By Editor CI

Jan 13, 2017 - 2:33 PM

Why did Gazprom cancel South Stream and replace it with Turkish Stream? In addressing this question, the author examines the debate surrounding the need for the Turkish Stream pipeline, which divided interviewees. Some regarded this project as part of Gazprom’s profit-oriented approach in the context of the threat to its market share amidst liberalization in Europe, its largest export market. However, others believed there is no demand for the project. Based on interviews conducted with experts in the energy sector as well as through corporate data, the paper concludes that the decision to replace the pipeline was part of Gazprom’s strategy to tackle the challenges it has faced in the European market in order to secure its position in that market. Read more...

'Is Azerbaijani Gas a Game Changer in Balkan Energy Geopolitics?' by Plamen Dimitrov

By Editor CI

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:27 AM

Until now, the Russian company Gazprom has been the dominant gas supplier of the Balkan countries. Most of the projects for new gas pipelines in the Balkans have failed or have become stagnant in recent years for two main reasons: lack of gas to feed them (Nabucco, ITGI, Bulgaria’s “Balkan” gas hub), or an adverse geopolitical environment (South Stream, Turkish Stream). But it is already clear that Azerbaijani gas from the Shah Deniz field will reach Balkans through the Southern Gas Corridor. This article examines the Balkan routes of the Azerbaijani gas, and answers the question of how this new source of gas will influence the energy geopolitics of Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece. The conclusion is that the gas from Shah Deniz will trace out a new energy corridor through the southern part of the Balkans. Pursuant to this, an additional gas supply infrastructure could be built around this corridor – LNG terminals, interconnectors and new pipelines to bring gas from Turkmenistan, Iraq, or from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. Azerbaijani gas will, to a significant degree, act as a game changer in the Balkan energy geopolitics, although Gazprom will retain its role as a main supplier for the region. Read more...

'Perspective for Turkish Stream Project: Possible Scenarios and Challenges' by Ilgar Gurbanov

By Editor CI

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:21 AM

Following the cancellation of South Stream, Russia announced its plans to reroute the pipeline to Turkey, instead of Bulgaria. The new pipeline was dubbed “Turkish Stream”, with same capacity of South Stream, but less vulnerable to EU competition law. “Turkish Stream” has also experienced delays due to the crisis in Russia- Turkey relations. However, following the recent normalization of bilateral relations, the project regained its momentum. Russia’s aim is to complete the construction of the pipeline as soon as possible, namely before the Southern Gas Corridor is finished, or acquires additional gas from Iraq, Iran, or Turkmenistan. This article examines the possible scenarios and challenges for the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, and argues that Russian Gazprom’s commitments to other pipeline projects, such as Nord Stream II and the pipeline to China, may prevent Gazprom from completing the pipeline in its entirety. Read more...

'Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant from the Perspective of Energy Security: A Solution or a Deadlock?' by Azime Telli

By Editor CI

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:14 AM

Besides its lack of resources, Turkey’s main problem in terms of energy security is its import dependency. Turkey is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels, and natural gas is the most critical one among them. Natural gas has the largest share in Turkey’s energy mix; 55% of Turkey’s natural gas needs is met by Russia, which leads to interdependency between these parties in the energy domain. Turkey therefore is seeking ways to diversify its energy supplies. As part of such a search, Turkey initiated its nuclear expansion and started building a nuclear plant in Akkuyu, Mersin. Yet, Turkey’s reliance on Russia in the construction and operation of the power plant has the potential of leading Turkey into a further stalemate in terms of energy dependency. This is because, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant will allow Russia to become more powerful within the scope of this interdependent relation with Turkey, which gives rise to serious geopolitical and geo-economical risks. This paper studies the implication of this dependency relationship on Turkey’s energy security and argues that a nuclear power plant built by Russia in Akkuyu will be disadvantageous for Turkey. The paper also examines Akkuyu’s possible effects on Turkey’s natural gas dependency. Read more...

The Iron Silk Road: How will Turkey be Involved?; Onur F. Uysal

By Editor CI

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:40 PM

The Iron Silk Road, the railway corridor connecting China to Europe and Middle East, is one of the fastest growing railway corridors in the world. China’s strategic plan for creating strong economic ties with Eurasia, known as ‘One Belt, One Road’, is the primary source of this growth, though not the only one. Many other countries, including Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, all have specific political and economic interests in this new corridor. Turkey, located on the ancient Silk Road and at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, has ambitious targets with regard to its involvement in the Iron Silk Road. This article discusses Turkey’s current and future position in Iron Silk Road, including its efforts and investments in the initiative, such as the Marmaray tunnel and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway projects. Read more...

TRACECA and Its Implications for Sub-regional Development: The Case of the Black Sea Region of Turkey of the Black Sea Region of Turkey; Osman Karamustafa and Ali Ihsan Kahraman

By Editor CI

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:33 PM

As a promising route for the promotion of economic development for countries located along the corridor, the East-West corridor has been analyzed overwhelmingly from geopolitical perspectives. This approach, however, fails to consider for the full range of benefits the corridor would provide. The sub-regional benefits, even at the individual country level, are often overlooked. In order to present a subregional/micro level analysis of the implications of the East-West corridor in general, and TRACECA in particular, this paper focuses on the place and position of Turkey’s Black Sea region within TRACECA. It evaluates the influence of this cross-continental mega project on a sub-region of Turkey. The paper suggests that TRACECA has significance not only in terms of regional geopolitics but also in regard to sub-regional development. The paper assesses official statements by the Turkish government and the Permanent Secretariat of TRACECA. The authors discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by TRACECA’s development targets as well as those of the Turkish government at the local level. Read more...

The Evolution and Failure of NATO’s Nuclear Posture; Kamal Makili-Aliyev

By ilgar Gurbanov

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:35 PM

As a military alliance with nuclear capabilities, NATO’s nuclear posture has gone through a very interesting evolutionary period, shaped by the security environment during its existence. Not only has the Alliance shifted its focus in terms of conventional/ nuclear forces ratio following the end of the Cold War, it has gradually changed its vision of nuclear weapons and their role in the world. Alliance remains a nuclear power, at least until the global elimination of all nuclear weapons. However, that goal remains a distant one. Will the Alliance adopt a proactive strategy when it comes to nuclear weapons? Will it modernize its nuclear posture? This article attempts to tackle these questions, while also providing an outline of the stages of the evolution of NATO’s nuclear posture. At the same time, it is argued that Alliance’s nuclear posture is currently failing, and urgently requires reforms and a new vision. Read more...

The Crisis of Multiculturalism in the UK: Has It Failed? Namig Abbasov

By ilgar Gurbanov

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:36 PM

The idea of multiculturalism has been hotly debated across the UK in recent years. This article addresses the question of whether multiculturalism has failed in Great Britain based on an assessment of both sides of the debate. Considerable arguments against multiculturalism have been submitted by both academics and political figures, stating its devastating impact on social cohesion, causing social segregation, and its incompatibility with the principles of liberal democracy. This essay argues the opposite: the primary argument in this essay is that what has failed is not multiculturalism itself, but rather the understanding of it, due to the powerful negative discourse around the term embedded in multicultural policies (MCPs). The article argues that there is an urgent need for the contextual development of multiculturalism, which can lead to a variety of views. It concludes that the arguments against multiculturalism lack empirical evidence, and those arguments have been strongly influenced by the negative discourse around the idea of multiculturalism, rather than its everyday realities. Read more...

Assessing the Role of Mobility and Border Security in EU-Azerbaijan Relations: How Far Can They Go? Michela Ceccorulli

By ilgar Gurbanov

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:27 PM

In recent years, challenges such as international terrorism, transnational organized crime and illegal immigration have rendered mobility and border security top priorities and issues for cooperation among international actors. This article looks specifically at mobility and related border concerns as key topics in relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has become a crucial ally for the European Union for multiple reasons. First, it is located in a strategic position, at the crossroads between East and West; second, it has recently become a key actor in the energy game, proposing itself as an alternative and reliable source of energy; third, it is member of the Eastern Neighborhood, where regional stability has direct bearing upon the EU’s security. By outlining the ways in which these challenges may also be potentially disruptive for Azerbaijan’s national interests and overall security, the article considers the extent of existing cooperation on mobility and border security, up until the recent signature of the Mobility Partnership (2013). While relations have rapidly expanded over recent years, the article concludes that without a clear regional vision of the EU or proper coordination on these transborder issues, further development will be impeded. Read more...

Immigration Policy in Europe Amid Multiculturalism Crisis; Arastu Habibbayli

By Editor CI

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:25 PM

The majority of European countries host significant immigrant communities, and as such, multiculturalism is not an option but rather a necessity for them. However, as many political leaders, scholars, publicists and religious figures have emphasized, multiculturalism has failed in Europe. Despite the fact that Europe’s demographic crisis means that migrants are vital for future growth, Europe is overlooking the moral values of its new citizens and concentrating solely on Western values. While Western democratic principles are being tested by the current economic crisis, European countries are tightening their immigration policies, contributing to the further erosion of multicultural values. In this key chapter of our history, these current developments will be a litmus test for Europe and the humanity in general. Read more...
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