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Turkey’s Geopolitical Position and its Role as an Energy Corridor

politics transcends the limited geographical area of the coastal countries that surround it. Its role literally extends to the areas of Euro-Atlantic relations. It can affect the balance of power in the Caucasus region, including non-littoral countries like Armenia and Azerbaijan. It may also affect the power balance further away in the Middle East. Furthermore, the Black Sea geographical area, which was virtually ignored during the cold war era, has to be regarded now as an integral part of reconstructed Europe.

B. The Black Sea basin In a wider sense, the Black Sea basin is a vast geography including the territories of all littoral countries. It has a surface almost double that of the entire European continent. The role of the Black Sea region as an energy corridor and an area of suspended Cold War conflicts make it an important region from the military standpoint; but it also offers huge potentials for economic cooperation. 1. Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) After the Soviet Union fell apart, Turkey took the initiative to organize regional economic cooperation with a view to reaping the advantages that the region offers. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) that was established in March 1994 is the result of this initiative. It is the only indigenous initiative to capitalize on the new parameters emerging in the region after the fall of the Soviet Union; and it is the first example of an institutionalized and widely inclusive multilateral cooperation platform in the Black Sea region consisting of member countries with divergent economic and social experiences, as well as different visions and agenda for their future. BSEC was based on the idea that stronger economic cooperation among the Black Sea countries would enhance stability in the region by helping the member States achieve sustainable economic structures; and its institutional framework was set up with the underlying motive of integrating the region into the world economy. The Headquarters of the Permanent International Secretariat of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation is in Istanbul.

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YASAR YAKIS

Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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