“Global warming and the struggle against it have become a common debate used by capitalistic forces to suggest renewable energy and open up new spaces of accommodation for capital, but the ecological destruction that the Istanbul Canal will create is not on the agenda of the capitalists,” writes Yusuf Gürsucu for the Yeni Yaşam Newsletter.
While the Montreux discussions continue, preparations for the Istanbul Canal continue at full speed. It is not a coincidence that the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention opened up the way to the Montreux debates. It cannot be a coincidence that the Montreux question was asked of the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Mustafa Şentop, when the discussion was about the annulment of the Istanbul Convention. We are watching a process in which everything is planned. Until today, discussions have been had over the construction in the region, along with the ecological destruction it will create. Now we see another reason for the construction of the canal.
The AKP government acts by foreseeing that every step it takes will have at least three to five benefits. The benefits never include a benefit for the people or nature. On the contrary, it is for capital. One can see it in every project they create.
The inability to grow is a problem of capitalism that it cannot overcome. Today this problem has reached a high level with the pandemic. A war of division has been implicitly happening all over the world for years. However, its veil has begun to fall now and the threat of an imminent war has grown in the world. Normally it is much harder for us to understand such developments, but now it is clearer. For example, while the United States has serious disagreements with China, Chinese companies want to build the Istanbul Canal. On the other hand, the project is supported by the US. Although Russia does not seem to like it, it desires to break the Montreux Agreement. While Russia also shows interest in natural gas-drilling fields that will destroy the Mediterranean ecosystem, Russia’s policies continuously became more effective in Africa. There is a big problem between Russia and Ukraine and it is increasing with the support of the US and the European Union (EU) for Ukraine. From this point of view, some say that only the US has an interest in the Istanbul Canal. However, another fact that has been omitted is that the canal, which will break Montreux, is also supported by Russia.
On the other hand, it should be noted that another “Canal” desire has emerged from the narrowest area between the Saros Gulf and the strait at the starting point of the Çanakkale Gelibolu Peninsula and it seems like we will soon begin to discuss it again. Although all of the steps taken are linked to economics, there are many indications that a war over resources will start shortly. Moreover, this war will extend to Iran.
It was announced that four Chinese companies will bid for the tender prepared for Istanbul Canal. The fact that China has recently built up close relations with Qatar and is starting to act together to share the rent that will emerge with the project reveals the economic aspect of the canal as well.
What happened in our region or far away indicates that the capitalist states are preparing for a great war of division. When we look at the growth of the defence industry in Turkey, it could be understood that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is trying to open a place for itself in this process. Here, “defending the country”, “nationalism” and similar claims are groundless. It is not the people who have problems with each other, but the interests of those who want to protect the boundaries of the state dominated by capital and to enlarge these borders, if not to increase their influence.
Global warming and the struggle against it have become a common debate used by capitalistic forces to suggest renewable energy and open up new spaces of accommodation for capital, but the ecological destruction that the Istanbul Canal will create is not on the agenda of the capitalists. Europe is supporting the programme implemented to solve global warming but it is not interested in the destruction of the canal for some reason. Looking at this fact, there is a slight possibility that the construction of the Istanbul Canal can be prevented by the struggle of the locals. With this struggle, we can both protect our living spaces and reverse inter-community conflict. It is a human duty to oppose the Istanbul Canal from a perspective that sees this reality.