The Economic Repetition of History: Silk Road - HATICE KARAHAN

The Economic Repetition of History: Silk Road

Venetian traveler Marco Polo's 13th century Silk Road adventure ranging from Italy to China was among the legendary stories.

Today it is questioned suspiciously, how Marco at that time passed the Silk Road from the beginning to the end arriving in China after a journey that lasted for years.

The reason is that thousands of kilometers of road were full of deserts and mountains difficult to cross.

Moreover, we are talking about a complicated line where according to the weather conditions different routes should be followed and it wouldn't be possible to move without a guide. Therefore, rather than the long-ranged caravans, the Silk Road is defined as a continuous road where commerce is carried on moving zone-by-zone.

On the other hand, the famous line of trade names for one of the favorite global enterprises of today. And also in order to provide a gigantic connection that can't be compared with that period: Silk Road Economic Belt

China, trying to revive the historical road today, has undertaken the leadership of the project that is in the dream of Eurasia.

The dream that was first expressed by China in 2013 had been brought to the agenda by different countries, particularly Turkey.

A few years ago, the “We will turn the historical Silk Road into an Iron Silk Road” statement of Erdoğan, the Prime Minister then, was reminding of the bond the Ottomans had with Middle Asia , while it was presenting a broad perspective from the trade to the investments.

The TANAP project which we started with Azerbaijan in the recent months has also been a move which has been defined as “The Energy Silk Road”.

Even the workout like the Turkish Council (With the Azeri name Türk Şurası) which was activated in 2009 is among our cooperations which enabled to pave the stones of the Silk Road…

Of course as I emphasized, the Silk Road is a project that has been expressed also by various Eurasian countries, from Russia to Kazakhstan, for a while .

We can say that China's embracing it completely has accelerated and contextually has been drawing the strongest picture till today...


China's Economic Zone will strengthen the connectivity by building the basic infrastructure at the first stage. For the former Soviet republics which are the depots of natural resources, which China sees as the “energy of the road”, the new Silk Road is exciting as well.

However, this project presents a gigantic route to these countries with which both the investments they need and were getting out of the geography they were squeezing would be easier.

We have already spoken about the role that the project played in China's approaching Russia against the USA. Only one month ago an agreement on the cooperation between Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road was signed by the two countries.

On the other hand, China's project is not only limited with “ the Silk Road overland”.

The business also has a maritime aspect from the Southern China Sea . China, which also set its mind to the Maritime Silk Road project passing over the Indian Ocean, climbing up to Mediterranean from the Red Sea and finishing in Venice, thus has started a broad movement under the name of One Belt, One Road.

The fair held by China a few days ago for the Southern Asian countries, approved the OBOR excitement of the businessmen in the region once more. The Middle Asian traffic of the country is quite heavy. Also as the final stop of this project, Europe's eyes are on this project… Two weeks ago, Hungary became the first EU country that committed to joining the Silk Road project and signatures were signed.

When we say Europe, let me remind you that in this column the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that we discussed before is a formation that will support the Silk Road and in the previous months has received request for membership just after England from a lot of European countries.

Thus it should be emphasized that besides the commercial, investment and energy integration of OBUR, a financial unity is aimed.


Essentially, the integration project that China wants to put into practice against the U.S. hegemony is continuing to take its steps fast.

The Silk Road plan starting from the land with China, continuing through the Middle Asia and Iran, from Turkey will move towards Europe, and connect to maritime transit by finishing at Marco Polo' Venice.

Thus, in the recent years, as Turkey also underlined with the Silk Road, all of the roads will lead to Turkey.

China has already been underlining that Turkey will play a key role in this project. Let's remember that we became a member of the AIIB in the recent months.

In this sense, it is of critical importance to continue the related workout that has been going on for a while, in the following period as well.

Briefly; on one side the West, on the other side the East mind uniting in order to gather power for the future. It's necessary for us to join in the mergers in the world. Of course in order to be able to integrate with the world, firstly we need to be united internally. And again it comes to the point we have been talking about for weeks: The power of our future government...


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