Energy has many variables within it. First of all, it is intangible for countries. Both buyer and seller countries are interdependent and these countries have responsibilities to international law.
Besides, when countries are mostly dependent on income from oil and natural gas, they have to adopt certain policies even if they are on the verge of war. Therefore, the energy field is one in which countries have to adopt multi-speed gear.
Energy is going through an extraordinary period. Such that, in a period in which world oil prices have dropped and natural gas prices are expected to decrease as well, the market conditions are in favor of demand (not the supplier) due to new technologies increasing their productivity and the deceleration of global economy.
With the economic structures and the conjuncture in energy triggering the conditions, countries that own energy resources have an obligation to sell these resources.
Although Turkey does not have energy resources, it is in a strategic position because of its economic structure and energy policies. Although the jet crisis that happened between Turkey and Russia appeared to be a bad situation for energy, it actually ensured new openings for energy policies. It was an awakening for Turkey in terms of not being dependent on one country for energy and natural gas.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visits to Qatar and Nigeria, and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's visits to Iran and Azerbaijan to meet actors in the energy market after this incident are important to show that Turkey is not desperate and can develop alternatives in energy.
BECOMING AN ENERGY HUB
Turkey has to speed up its projects in the Caspian Region, Northern Iraq Kurdish Region and the East Mediterranean in order to strengthen the South Gas Corridor for it to become an energy center and commercial hub.
It is also important to mention that alternatives should be developed to transporting the natural gas of the Caspian Region (especially that of Iran and Turkmenistan) to EU countries via Turkey instead of to the Asian market.
There is also the issue of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and storage. LNG is one of the most important issues to be considered for demand security during this period. Clearing the way for the private sector by building new LNG terminals and providing security for natural gas storage and energy demand increase the significance of Turkey's multi-speed gear policies.
The Mediterranean route holds significance not only for Turkey but for all countries that want a say in global energy. We all know that Russia is trying to decrease Turkey's advantageous geopolitical significance, as it is in the Mediterranean because new energy lines are being determined.
Russia's reason is consistent within itself, because Turkey is in all energy equations; it is the country that can build a safe energy bridge between energy suppliers and those demanding energy. Turkey, the country which holds the advantage of providing a secure energy transfer, should not give up the chance to use this advantage.
Therefore, Turkey, being in a strategically advantageous position, needs to utilize the opportunities that have come to it in a time new energy lines and routes are determined.
ENERGY AND ACADEMY NEED TO BE IN THE FIELD
The issue being discussed on an academic as well as political level, which indicates that not only political mechanisms but universities too have assumed responsibility and are ready to contribute to this field.
Last week, Giresun University Black Sea Strategic Research and Practice Center (KARASAM) held a workshop titled “National Energy Policies as part of the Turkey-Russia crisis: Risks and Alternatives,” which I attended. Experts from different universities and institutions reviewed important issues of energy supply security within the most recent period.
Many players active in the energy field are in the arena. Therefore, not only think tanks but universities need to talk about issues affecting Turkey and the rest of the world.
Universities have the capacity to change the cities and regions where they are located. Considering the regional characteristics, universities should step forward with studies on national and international issues and strengthen Turkey's energy and trade potential.