Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
Ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections that will now be held in May this year in Turkey, Erdogan has seen to it that the government’s powers of censorship are at an all-time high to allow it to undermine potential opponents and silence critics. This includes the December prison sentence on trumped-up corruption charges for Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, an opponent of the government, which now makes it impossible for him to run for any political office. Criticism of the government is now a criminal offense as Erdogan prepares for a difficult challenge with an economy in tatters.
As we noted in an earlier briefing in the fall, Kurdish oil appeared set to gain a reprieve from the legal barrage of threats coming from Baghdad following the election of a new Iraqi government after a long stalemate. That peace on the oil revenue front is inching closer became clearer during the WEF in Davos this week, with Masrour Barzani, the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) saying that the federal government in Baghdad had agreed to freeze—for the time being—any court actions earlier initiated to usurp control of Kurdish oil and gas contracts and revenues.
Last week, Bulgaria signed a deal with Turkey’s state-run Botas giving the Eastern European country access to Botas’ five LNG import terminals for natural gas supplies, which would then be transported via pipeline to Bulgaria…