As the June 7th general elections are approaching, the political parties are continuing to present pledges to their voters in many matters. The most prominent topic in the election statements is, once again, economy.
One of those matters, “energy” is almost a key variable for all the suggestions pledged in the economy to be implemented. Because, energy is one of the most important inputs in the Turkish economy's growth and increasing production.
An increase in production and employment is equal to opening new business fields and a decrease in unemployment. At the same time, this is equal to paving the way for and encouraging new investments. On the other hand, an increase in production is equal to an increase in the need for energy and thus an increase in the bill paid for energy.
When the facts, that Turkey has failed to meet the energy demand with the national resources, under present conditions, and that a large portion of the energy need is being imported, being taken into consideration, the political parties' post-election plans for “energy” are crucial.
Because, the policies of the parties, related with their plans towards “energy”, will be forming the resources of pledges towards economy. This is directly related with the literalism and feasibility of energy policies.
Then, how rational and implementable are these “energy” policies?
Decreasing energy dependency without producing energy
We are encountering a contradiction in CHP's election pledges on the matter of energy. The suggestion related with providing independency in energy is complicated in the sense of how and in what way it will be attained. It's being stated that local resources will be prioritized in order to reduce dependency on the outside. However, another pledge is to cancel the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear plant, if possible, which will be meeting the energy demand of the country in the long run.
Of course, the emphasis on not being against nuclear plants in principal is actually showing that the “decreasing the dependency on the outside” contradiction while closing the nuclear plant down is just an initiative directed at “votes”.
On the other hand, the necessity of participations of new actors in relations with other countries for importing energy is an already ongoing policy. One of the most important extensions of the Southern Gas Corridor, the TANAP and TAP projects, are bringing Turkey into a strong actor position in the global energy universe. Alongside Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, the fact that other countries are knocking on Turkey's door to join these projects is proving the righteousness of existing energy policies.
Also, another remarkable matter in the statement is; the pledge about “providing a certain amount of electricity amounts as a free service, without aggrieving the poor community”. Actually, seeing that CHP realized the necessity of touching the “poor community” and accepting that social aids are given right under certain criteria; it's a good phase for CHP.
Of course, if they are being honest…
However, we cannot encounter other information related with how they will be providing free electric while they are limiting the natural gas importation and decreasing its role in the electricity production. In other words, dependency on the outside will be decreased, the nuclear plant will be shut down, and on top of that, free electricity will be provided and all of these will happen in a short time. For all of these to be attained at the same time, a superhuman and legendary energy is necessary.
The gap between pledges and realities
If we are to look at HDP's election statement; like CHP, while there is an objection to Akkuyu and HES projects, there is no concrete road map related with how they will be replaced. How is it possible to reduce poverty, claim free services ranging from transportation to healthcare, and increase employment while risking the energy supply safety?
Alongside the energy supply safety in the country, since the energy investments are directly within the context of foreign investment, they have a special importance for the Turkish economy. Disregarding this reality, the energy policies are being reduced to pledges like cheap natural gas, free electricity and closing down energy source structures; we can't see a bright future for the Turkish economy.
The pledges that are presented against moves like TANAP, TAP, the Akkuyu Nuclear Plant, Turkish Flow and Istanbul Energy Stock Market, which gained Turkey strong prestige in the international energy scene especially in the recent years; are unfortunately unable to catch the agenda and are reminding us of a picture given before the election.
Also, it's clear that this profile displayed by the Turkish economy after 2002 will not be imprisoned to this narrow vision.