SETA photographed the transformation that Turkey has actualized in political, economic and social spheres during the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) period with publications such as reports, analyses, opinion pieces and events such as symposiums, congresses and workshops. It has become one of the most influential witnesses of the AK Party era.
Now, we are on the verge of the referendum period on Turkey's government system change. At this point, the Presidential System Symposium, organized by SETA immediately following Erdoğan's approval of the constitutional amendments to be voted on in the referendum, has initiated the process of discussing what the presidential system includes and what kind of changes it will bring after April 16.
We are not talking about a simple change. Turkey is making a civil constitution for the first time. I mean, it is a process where the will of the nation has the only right to speak. Therefore, the tutelage which long shaped politics and economy as it wished, despite elected governments, will completely lose its power of maneuver.
In addition, the duality in the country's administration will be prevented. The reason for not experiencing problems in the present situation is not the system, but the harmony between the president and prime minister. Of course, a de facto process will be official. In other words, the presidency, which was elected by the people in 2007 and to which the country's administration was handed over, will turn into an official identity and system.
We are talking about a very important change that should not be trapped between "yes" and "no" until the referendum on April 16. Therefore, the political, economic and social gains the presidential system will bring to Turkey must be understood and expressed clearly.
How the government system change will contribute to Turkey's goals and why we need it should be explained with concrete examples.
Saturday's symposium provided quite a good platform to explain the system in all aspects. Such platforms are also needed over the next two months.
NATURAL GAS STORAGE AND TURKEY
The economy and therefore energy come to the fore among the areas where Turkey will gain great momentum with the presidential system. We experienced many times in the past that Turkey was prevented from coming to the fore in energy. Despite the political stability, there have been many interventions to disrupt energy policies.
However, despite all these interventions, groundbreaking actions were made in energy. While leading new pipeline projects for the purchase and transport of natural gas from different countries, Turkey is also taking important steps to store the natural gas coming to the country.
The rise of the amount of natural gas coming to the country with future projects such as the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), TurkStream and the start of buying LNG from spot markets will make it obligatory to store the natural gas surplus.
Therefore, as a result of the fact that the natural gas storage facility that comes with pipelines was insufficient, the Tuz Lake Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility was put into service last week. This is a very important step for storage expansion.
Currently, there is an LNG terminal in Marmara Ereğlisi and Aliağa. However, these terminals are not sufficient for the achievement of Turkey's goal of becoming an energy hub. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak's emphasis on natural gas storage shows that investments in this area will continue.
Taking service of the Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) is another strategic step to relieve Turkey and increase its power in energy.
While natural gas storage reduces dependence on a single country at a high rate, it will be easier to ensure energy supply security and remove seasonal consumption differences and possible technical disruptions to the gas supply.
These strategic energy practices on which we are highly dependent do not merely have economic significance. They are a determining factor in Turkey's becoming an energy hub and in its diplomatic relations.
Moreover, this effect includes not only Turkey, but also the political and economic variables of the region in which Turkey is located.