The pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak published a report on Sunday asserting that the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict has effectively brought a halt to the India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) project, which they view as being detrimental to Turkey’s interests.
Yeni Şafak’s report, “South corridor ended before starting”, argues that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine will lead to the suspension of the IMEC project, which had aimed to connect the Indo-Pacific region to Europe via the Middle East. According to the newspaper, the project’s feasibility is now in question, particularly the sections involving Saudi Arabia and Israel.
“Without security, there can be no trade”, said Prof Dr Vişne Korkmaz of Nişantaşı University, reflecting the prevailing sentiment among pro-government commentators.
The IMEC project has been under close scrutiny in Turkey since its introduction at this year’s G20 summit in September. “There can be no corridor without Turkey”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said as he flew home from the summit.
Pro-government media outlets have been vocal about their scepticism concerning the project’s feasibility, including concerns about its route, costs and infrastructure. The recent escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict has only intensified these doubts, according to these commentators. “The project’s viability is now more in question than ever”, Korkmaz asserted.
Prof Dr Burak Küntay of Beykoz University noted that the IMEC is a long-term plan involving numerous countries, making its immediate implementation challenging. “Turkey’s Development Path project offers a more feasible and beneficial alternative”, he claimed.
The report claimed that as “the most secure route in global trade routes is Turkey’s Development Path”, Turkey’s strategic importance has once more been reaffirmed.