Turkey Objection to the Proposed Economic Corridor
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his anger at his country’s non-involvement in this project. Turkey’s objection to the proposed economic corridor between India, the Middle East, and Europe. India, United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, European Union, Italy, France, and Germany during the G-20 Summit held in Delhi, India, France and Germany agreed to build the India-Middle East Europe Corridor. Agreement has been made. An MoU has also been signed in this regard. Turkey is also included in the route of this economic corridor connecting India to Europe, but it has not been included in it.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Two days after the agreement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his anger at his country’s non-involvement in this project, saying that this corridor cannot be possible without them. On the map of the world, Turkey is a link that connects the West with the East, as it is partly in Europe and partly in Asia. Turkey is not only in a strong position from a commercial point of view but also has a good influence in the Middle East. It has influence, it is also a NATO member country, but then what is the reason that it has been kept away from this economic corridor?
India, Middle East-Europe Corridor
When will the work on this project called “India, Middle East-Europe Corridor” start, which countries will invest how much, and what will be its final route? According to the Indian government, the project will have two corridors. An Eastern Corridor, which will connect India with the Gulf countries, and on the other side a Northern Corridor, which will connect the Gulf countries with Europe, and under this project, land, sea, and rail tracks will be laid.
Long sea routes
The project aims to reduce the time and fuel cost of long sea routes and strengthen trade links from India to Europe. Professor Sujata Aishwarya of the Department of West Asian Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi says that ‘with the help of this economic corridor, the goods will first reach from Mumbai port to Jebel Ali port in Dubai and from there by road or rail to Saudi Arabia. Will be delivered. She explains that after traveling thousands of kilometers by road or rail in Saudi Arabia, the goods will be delivered to Haifa port in Israel, which will then enter Europe via Prios port in Greece.
If we talk about the current situation, ships carrying goods from Mumbai to Europe pass through the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea and then leave the Suez Canal and enter the Mediterranean Sea and from there travel to European countries.
Indian Council of World Affairs
In addition to economic and financial loss, there are some other concerns for Turkey. Dr. Fazlur Rahman Siddiqui, senior research fellow of the Indian Council of World Affairs, says that Israel is include in this economic corridor. Because it is seen as a US-led project. It is being talk about as an alternative to China’s “Belt and Road Project”.
Iran, Turkey, and Egypt
According to him, this thing is more disturbing to the countries that have good relations with China, including countries like Iran, Turkey, and Egypt. Dominated, it does not want another trade front in the region to challenge it and weaken its strategic position in the world. He fears that it will no longer be just an economic corridor but will turn into a geopolitical corridor. This means that the US is not withdrawing itself from the Middle East and wants to stay in the region.
Agenda of the United States
Professor Sujata Aishwarya also doubts that this may be the agenda of the United States. She says that Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have diplomatic relations, but with the help of this project, the United States can prove to be important in strengthening the relationship between the two countries. And under this excuse, Israel can include in the G20. Staying out of this important project of Turkey will give Saudi Arabia a strategic advantage in the region and Turkey’s “trans-shipping zone” will also decrease.
Greece without the help of Turkey
The point is that the goods from Israel can sent to Greece without the help of Turkey because it does not come between the two countries. Professor Sujata Aishwarya says that if we talk in the language of mathematics, the direct route is the best and the advantage. It is easy and takes less time. If we look at Turkey, it is slightly higher, which does not sit well and properly in the case of this corridor.
Strategic Point of View
Not only from a strategic point of view, there may be other reasons behind not bringing Turkey along. Sujata Aishwarya says that the biggest obstacle to getting from Israel to Turkey and then to Greece is Cyprus, a long-standing dispute. This is why Israel and Turkey cannot build a pipeline between them.
Greece and Turkey
Turkey’s relations not only with Cyprus but also with Greece strain. War situations have also arisen between Greece and Turkey many times. Tensions have arisen many times between the two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean over energy resources and maritime boundaries. Experts believe that Turkey has keep out of the project due to growing tensions with neighboring countries. Has done, so as to avoid these difficulties and the conflicts arising due to it in the future.
Belt and Road
First of all, it is important to mention here that China’s “Belt and Road” project. May create difficulties in the completion of this project. China’s “Belt and Road” project has spread to more than 100 countries in the world. Which includes 38 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. 34 countries in Europe and Central Asia, 25 countries in East Asia. and the Pacific, and 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. 18 countries in Latin America, the Americas. And the Caribbean region, and 6 countries in Southeast Asia include.
America in the World System
He further says that it would have easy to make this project. With China, but it could not done because of America. According to him, Saudi Arabia and India also want to see America in the world system. Because the interests of both countries are more similar to America than China. On the other hand, Dr. Fazlur Rehman Siddiqui describes this project as more democratic and positive than China’s BRI.
Professor Sujata Aishwarya
He says the BRI belongs entirely to China. Many countries stuck in China’s debt that is involve in this project. Whereas the “India Middle East Europe Corridor” will involve money from many countries and will be more democratic. It is claim that the construction of the new corridor. Will save about 40% time in the delivery of goods from India to Europe. And also reduce the cost of transport. But Professor Sujata Aishwarya says that in the new corridor. Europe Arrival will require loading and unloading of goods and involves multiple modes of transport.
Cost too Much High
The merchandise will first be load into a ship from the port of Mumbai. Unload in Dubai, load onto a truck or rail. And then load onto a ship in Israel,” she says. Later, these goods will reach Europe. In such a situation, by the time a 10-rupee item reaches Europe from Mumbai. Its price has increase tenfold.
Dr. Fazlur Rahman Siddiqui
Says Sujata Aishwarya, Currently, once the goods arrive at Iran’s Chabahar or Bandar Abbas ports. They go directly to Europe by land. Without the need for repeat load and unload. On the other hand, Dr. Fazlur Rahman Siddiqui says that it is too early. To say what economic benefits will gain from this corridor. He says that India will definitely dominate the Global South with this new corridor. Will grow and it will able to better challenge China.