Dr. Nizar Abdul Kader | 11 Oct 2020
Tensions in the eastern Mediterranean are at their highest in decades following Turkey’s decision to send a research vessel, the Oruç Reis, to prospect for gas and oil in maritime areas which Turkey believes fall within its exclusive economic zone, a claim disputed by both Greece and Cyprus.
The roots of the crisis stretch back several years to when commercial quantities of oil and gas were first discovered in the marine areas off the coast of the two countries. Given the geographic overlap between the two, both Athens and Ankara claimed rights to those resources, which has greatly complicated the issues of sovereignty and economic rights in the exclusive economic zones claimed by both sides.
Before delving into the causes of the dispute — in which Greece and Cyprus together are facing off against Turkey — and the possible outcomes, it will be useful to take a quick look at the history of relations between the three countries, which have so often been characterized by the threat of escalation and a growing sense of hostility.
EPC | 21 Sep 2020
The potential role Turkey could play in Africa -- mainly in the context of countering Chinese economic influence -- emerged as a question in a webinar organized by the Turkish-American Business Council (TAIK). TAIK is led by Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, a Turkish industrialist with strong connections and a business partnership with the Trump family, particularly with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, through his ownership of Trump Towers in Turkey.
Under such circumstance one has to ask pertinent questions: Is a strategy of Turkish-American cooperation to counter Chinese influence in Africa based on sound assumptions? Does Turkey have major influence in Africa? Is there strategic convergence between Turkish-American interests? As we will see the premise underpinning the feasibility of Turkish-American cooperation in Africa remains uncertain and speculative.
EPC | 04 Aug 2020
Turkey's signature with the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj of two memorandums of understanding to define maritime rights and security and military cooperation between the two countries in November 2019 marked a turning point in the Turkish intervention in the Libyan arena. The operation has become a direct, open and qualitative intervention, as a result of which Turkey increased its military support for the GNA forces. In addition to providing them with sophisticated weapon systems, it also provided them with Turkish military advisers and Syrian mercenaries loyal to it. This contributed to transforming the course of the battle and the success by the GNA forces in evicting the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Haftar from the cities of the West Coast, Tripoli and its suburbs, the al-Watiya air base, and the city of Tarhuna, and their retreat towards the city of Sirte and the military base of Jufra in central Libya.
EPC | 11 Jun 2020
The coronavirus pandemic (or COVID-19) has struck the economic sectors throughout the world and caused a sudden disruption in the financial and economic activity. Yet the effects of the pandemic have not been even across the various economic sectors in the world. While some sectors were severely affected which led to their bankruptcy and collapse, others were only partially affected. In contrast, some economic sectors thrived with the increase in market demand for their services such as the health sector. The decisive factor determining the extent and depth of those effects will be the duration of the pandemic in a country and the lockdown and quarantine measures that the government has to take.
The above applies to Turkey as well, except for one important difference, namely that the coronavirus pandemic erupted at a time when Turkey had already been experiencing a significant financial crisis. That is why the consequences of the pandemic are expected to be twofold for the Turkish economy.
EPC | 17 May 2020
The financial crisis broke out in Turkey for cumulative reasons even before the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. While the negative effects of the global pandemic will emerge during this summer in Turkey, the pandemic has destroyed government hopes and plans for economic recovery, albeit relatively, this year.
This paper looks into the reasons for the current Turkish lira crisis and the solutions available to the government to overcome it or manage it for a longer period.
EPC | 05 Apr 2020
The spread of the corona epidemic is expected to affect the Turkish economy in three different areas: first, the global interruption and slowdown of the movement of goods and services which will affect Turkey’s foreign trade; second, the decline in local demand due to the climate of lack of confidence, uncertainty and unemployment; and third, the increasing difficulty in finding and accessing foreign financiers and investors due to the reduced desire globally to invest and take risks.
This paper looks in detail into all three areas, discusses the government support plan announced by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and assesses the extent that this support would be capable of dealing with the adverse effects of the crisis. The paper also attempts to draw a picture of Turkey’s economic situation till the end of this year while taking into account the implications of the spread of corona for the world economy.
EPC | 23 Mar 2020
In recent decades, a new form of competition has emerged in the Red Sea region, as emerging regional powers have sought to expand their geopolitical and economic influence over a larger area of land and sea. Among them, Turkey is motivated not by some sort of major geostrategic vision, but rather by its economic and commercial interests, combined with a sense of national prestige. Competition for supremacy and prestige throughout the wider Middle East is an essential part of Erdoğan’s ambitious vision of a powerful Turkey. The Red Sea and the Horn of Africa have an important role to play in this regard, as does the wider issue of Turkey’s influence in Africa, which has significant untapped economic potential for the country.
EPC | 11 Feb 2020
The Turkish economy has been shrinking as a result of the economic and financial turmoil that has gripped the country since March 2018. In the third quarter of 2019, it experienced weak growth. However, despite the market movement and the positive growth seen since, the crisis continues to have an impact, and no real solution has yet been found. In contrast to the weak growth and relative stability of the Turkish lira, the high rates of unemployment and of inflation continue to have a negative effect on the economy.