beberapa hari ini saya asyik mengikuti dinamika politik internasional. bukan hanya di Mesir yang hampir setiap hari terjadi demontrasi menentang aksi kudeta militer tetapi juga di Turki. yang banyak pengamat maupun analis internasional memperkirakan bahwa Turki sedang bangkit menjadi sebuah kekuatan ekonomi dan politik dunia islam yang diperhitungkan. Kemenangan Adellet Ve Kalkina Partisi atau AKP, salah satu Partai berbasis massa pengikut Fethullah Gulen dan Said Nursi, selama dua periode pemerintahan berturut-turut. Turki berhasil dari krisis ekonomi dan mega inflasi yang mencengkram Turki. dan pertumbuhan ekonomi Turki dimanfaatkan oleh the rulling parti untuk menggenjot sejumlah infrastruktur yang selanjutnya menambah decak kagum dunia dan sejarah ……

berikut sebuah analisa di harian Today Zaman dari Cemil Ertem

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/cemil-ertem-330107-marmaray-and-the-new-silk-road-a-historic-step.html

Marmaray and the new Silk Road: a historic step

Turkey launched the Marmaray undersea line which connects the Asian and European continents via the Bosporus Strait this week.
The opening of the Marmaray is not all about İstanbul, whose eastern and western parts are connected by this project. It could even be said that the Marmaray is not just about Turkey. We are facing Asian-European integration in the first quarter of the 21st century, from Berlin to Tokyo.

Taleh Ziyadov, the author of the “Azerbaijan as a Regional Hub in Central Eurasia” report, says that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line, which is about to be completed, and the Marmaray project are two major steps toward uninterrupted rail transportation between Europe and China. According to Ziyadov, with the Marmaray project, Baku will be connected to Europe via İstanbul, and an uninterrupted railway line will be established between Europe and China.

Another project is a railway line from Azerbaijan to Iran and India. In fact, what Ziyadov is describing is a modern Silk Road. But this depends on two major developments: The first is the emergence of a new type of economy that is based on exports which will keep the trade road alive in these countries as well as on the development of technology-intensive leading sectors; the second is achieving peace and political stability via democracy in the countries hosting part of this transit corridor because this is the only way to ensure the sustainability of peace and a safe passage.

On the other hand, in order for Europe to overcome the ongoing economic crisis, the central and southern transit corridors originating from China need to meet this new Silk Road. At this stage, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey will become key countries. In this way, a new economic cycle where energy transfers and transit passages merge is emerging. In the first stage, problematic areas are left out and a process that will lead to economic integration starts in the countries that are hosting the transit road.

As you may know, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) process which started last year between the US and the EU is not a customs union agreement. The customs border is eliminated in this process. In addition, the largest free trade and economic area in the world is also emerging. In parallel to the emergence and operation of this union, it should be expected that Turkey may enter a new economic and political process with the EU because under the present system, the goods and commodities of the countries which signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU are transported to Turkey via the EU without being subject to customs regulations, whereas Turkey’s exports to these countries are subject to customs rules. This will become absolutely unacceptable for Turkey after the TTIP enters into force.

For this reason, the Turkey-EU integration process will be accelerated soon. Depending on technological development and integration, the production of final goods is done in places near the markets, and interim goods become more important than the final products. To this end, the trade volume between Asia and Europe over China is increasing. For this reason, the establishment of European-Asian logistic bridges becomes inevitable. Naval transportation is both slow and expensive compared to the emerging economic cycle. In parallel to the introduction of FTAs and Turkish-EU integration, the creation of a new Silk Road in transit good transportation and logistics centers is inevitable. The new Silk Road should also be considered together with the Southern Gas Corridor that connects Caspian sources to Europe.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway and the Marmaray projects are very important starting points. These projects will serve as the initial integration of the transit and energy passages in the south, and in addition to connecting the Chinese, Afghan and Pakistani economies they will also facilitate the emergence of a new commercial web that would link these economies to Europe. In this way, they will make great contributions to political stability in these shaky areas.

The emergence of the new Silk Road is of historic importance because the Mesopotamian region, which displays evidence of the first economic activities of humankind, has also been host to many ancient civilizations. But this region has been a place of partitions, conflicts and clashes since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The connection of Asia to Europe over Russia — this connection is called the Northern Corridor – was a result of the economic and political system that was constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries. But this system collapsed in the early 21st century. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the world moved from a bipolar system to a multipolar one. In this way, the new Asian development started in the Pacific in the late 1990s. This process included the emergence of the Chinese and then the South Korean economies; subsequently, the process involved Turkey and the Balkans over the Caucasus and the Caspian towards North Africa.

To this end, the Marmaray is a very important and historic start, but this start will be completed by the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.