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Week In Review

Turkish gas discovery might alter the geopolitics of Central Asia

Qatar’s TV channel, Al Jazeera, reported that “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced… that Turkey discovered its biggest ever natural gas field holding 320 billion cubic metres (11.3 trillion cubic feet) in the Black Sea, and more could be found as the country works to provide it by as soon as 2023. If the gas can be commercially extracted, the discovery could help Ankara cut its current dependence on imports - from countries such as Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan - for a substantial amount of its energy needs.”

Erdogan is known to make grandiose statements and his pronouncements should not be taken at face value.

However, if the news of significant Turkish natural gas discovery is even partly true, this has a potential to alter geopolitical engagements on several fronts.

Currently Turkey avoids pushing policies which would irritate Russia or the authoritarian regimes it backs in Azerbaijan and Central Asia.

Ankara is highly dependent on Russia for energy supplies. If Turkey breaks its dependence on gas from Russia, it is logical to expect greater Turkish involvement in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Turkey is seen positively by the broader population with whom it shares common ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious roots.

Courtesy: Al Jazeera

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