Social Sciences (Oct 2022)

Assessing Türkiye’s Prospective Involvement in the Arctic Region: A Qualitative Inquiry from Energy and Environmental Perspectives

  • Mehmet Efe Biresselioglu,
  • Muhittin Hakan Demir,
  • Berfu Solak,
  • Sebnem Altinci,
  • Sitki Egeli

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11100480
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 480
p. 480

Abstract

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Recent developments in the Arctic region, mainly marked by climate change, have caused the region to receive increasing attention from regional and non-regional actors, mainly due to emerging energy-related opportunities and environmental concerns. The main reason for non-regional stakeholders to become involved in the Arctic region to pursue their interests is to obtain the observer status in the Arctic Council. Accordingly, this manuscript analyzes the long-term perspective of Türkiye’s involvement in the Arctic region as a non-regional actor and reveals a set of enablers and disablers pertaining to energy and environmental domains. For this purpose, in-depth interviews with experts from Türkiye, with Arctic Council members, or with observer countries are conducted. Results of the analysis are also utilized to provide insights regarding countries with similar profiles to Türkiye, i.e., middle-power and developing countries that are geographically distant from the Arctic region. The results highlight energy security, hydrocarbon reserves, and climate change as significant factors for countries such as Türkiye. Scientific, private sector, or intergovernmental cooperation with regional actors to encourage global action and environmental initiatives are the main enablers. Challenges in the extraction and sharing of energy resources, high costs and high technology requirements of energy exploration and extraction activities, increasing human activity, and damages to the Arctic ecosystem are identified as significant disablers.

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