I met last week in Ankara with Energy Minister Hilmi Guler. It has always been exciting for me to speak with Guler; he is a man who can wear you out with his interest in politics and strategy. The fact is, if you can't figure out the equation between energy and strategy, you can't see deeply into either domestic or international politics.
At one point during our breakfast meeting together, Guler pulled out his laptop to show me the petrol and natural gas pipe lines which pass through, and are being planned on now to pass through in the future, Turkey. Hilmi. The screen of his computer was filled with a full size map of the country.
As I have said before to Guler, just showing this map would be enough to convince people that there is no risk of Turkey being divided, or of what they call the "Sevres syndrome." What you see on the map is the pipelines coming in from the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Caspian Sea, streching towards Europe. Pipelines panning over the Black Sea meet out in the Eastern Aegean. And then it becomes clear that playing with Turkey's unity would mean playing with an international system (read: the US and Europe), and would be similar to cutting off the branch you are sitting on for these areas of the world. In short, it is very much to the strategic advanatage of both the US and Europe for Turkey to stay in one piece.