Who is the ‘common enemy?’
Two agreements on the establishment of a military base in Qatar and the training of the Qatari gendarmerie by Turkey have been moved forward on the agenda of the general assembly in parliament. This move was done upon a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group proposal. It was ratified at the speed of lightning and is now in force.
While the parliament was briefed on this agreement earlier, it was told that the military base was to be used against “common enemies.”
What is the reason of rushing this agreement in the middle of the Qatar crisis? There is only one meaning of this at this point: Turkey has chosen to take sides with Qatar in the blockade against Qatar.
As a matter of fact, it was only two days ago that our rulers were inspiring calmness for both sides to be able to overcome this crisis, offering their mediation role.
This move launched by Saudi Arabia and Egypt with the support of the U.S. aims to stop Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Another country that supports these in the region is Turkey.
Is the reason the agreement was urgently ratified to show that Turkey will continue its support?
It looks as if our rulers have forgotten the cost of diving into the Syrian crises, now they are trying to reach the centerpiece of the Qatar crisis.
Kanal Istanbul should not be like Lake Aral
In his statement about the Kanal Istanbul project, Transportation Minister Ahmet Arslan said “For international projects, there is no need for an Environmental Impact Assessment [ÇED] report, but if required, a ÇED report would be prepared for Kanal Istanbul.”
This project will cost about $15 billion. But you can easily add another $5 billion to this because there will be many bridges built for rail and vehicle traffic and their connecting roads.
Let us remember that the cost of the third bridge built on the Bosphorus was $3 billion.
It seems as if that such a giant project like Kanal Istanbul has not been studied up to now as to how it would affect the environment.
You will remember that Professor Cemal Saydam published scientific articles on how such a serious intervention connecting the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea could create significant environmental issues.
The extraordinary balance of the Marmara Sea would be disrupted, a sulphur odor will spread all throughout Istanbul, and the Black Sea would rapidly salinize.
No scientific publication has been issued to contradict this up to now. No study on the effects on natural water resources has been done either, whereas the minute this project was thought of, the first thing to do was to examine how it would affect the Marmara Sea, Black Sea and Thrace.
Turkey’s outstanding oceanographers and environmentalists could have convened and discussed whether or not the channel would cause such issues and predict what will happen. Was that too difficult?
Let us remember how miscalculated projects caused the world’s fourth biggest lake, Lake Aral, to dry up, also causing environmental disasters.
There is this issue too, of course, while an international agreement is valid for the passage of ships from the Bosphorus, whether or not the passing vessels could be directed to the channel.
All of these should have been studied before we decided to bury our scarce resources, but it is still not too late.