Food and energy nationalism in the age of global crises

10:46 . 24/01/2023 Salı

Erdal Tanas Karagöl

Erdal Tanas Karagöl was born in 1971 in Turkey’s eastern Erzurum province, where he attended middle and high school. He later traveled to the U.S. and the U.K. where he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees. He earned the title of professor in 2011. In addition to his numerous academic studies, he has written economic reports for the Sabah, Star, and Yeni Şafak newspapers. Karagöl currently writes economic analyses and evaluations twice a week for Yeni Şafak. He is married and has two daughters.

Erdal Tanas Karagöl

Tbe Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war that broke out after it put the issues of food nationalism and energy nationalism on the global agenda. In the lockdown process that started with Covid-19, when production came to a halt all over the world, when the trade doors were closed and everyone went home, it became clear just how important the current food stockpiles are.

During this period, numerous countries that had food products on hand banned banned their export and rushed to shore up its stockpiles and reserves. In many countries, the issue of food and agriculture has been a determining factor in international politics and in the decision-making processes of domestic politics.

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the energy crisis has deeply affected many developed European countries. Many countries experienced bottlenecks in energy, and the fact that energy trade between countries came to a standstill brought about a process that started energy nationalism.

Therefore, the increase in energy prices due to both the endangerment of energy supply security and the decrease in energy supply in many countries had negative effects on macroeconomic and social indicators, especially inflation.

For this reason, we already see that the countries affected by the food crisis and the energy crisis will learn important lessons and therefore there will be important structural changes in their agriculture and energy policies.

Food, energy and Türkiye

Extraordinary conditions such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have shown us how strategic and vital sectors food and energy are.

It is also worth mentioning that Türkiye, which is an important agricultural country in these crises, ranks first in Europe in terms of agricultural production and is among the top ten countries in the world, has many advantages in that regard.

The whole world has seen that a country with such a potential not only has the power to overcome future food crises in the media, but also plays a leading role in the realization of grain exports from Ukraine to the world in the Russia-Ukraine war, and also makes an important contribution to the prevention of crises that may occur on a global scale.

Meanwhile, Türkiye is one of the important countries that ensure energy supply security, both in terms of being an agricultural country and energy being the most important agenda item in recent years, and thanks to the investments made in the field of energy.

Although we are dependent on foreign energy, natural gas pipelines implemented in line with the goal of being a central country in energy, natural gas reserves discovered and to be discovered, the energy potential of the Eastern Mediterranean region, renewable energy investments and steps taken in nuclear energy are important steps with strategic meaning when it comes to energy nationalism.

However, due to Türkiye's role in the energy field, its central location and its intermediary role in bringing together the energy supply and demand between the east and the west, it has the potential to prevent an energy crisis that may occur thanks to the energy corridor to be formed, just like it did with the grain export deal.

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