ideological obsessions were carried to the Gulf! It’s time to review the Turkey option

prof. Dr. Kemal nat wrote down the visit of the German Father Olaf Scholz to the Gulf, which was carried out for the search for a solution to the energy crisis of Germany, for AA Analysis.


Germany’s Federal Chancellor (chance) Olaf Scholz’s visit to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar at the weekend points to important searches and transformations in terms of German foreign policy.


The main purpose of this visit is the search for new supplies by Germany, which was dragged into an energy crisis as a result of its ill-prepared struggle against Russia, and the lowering of rising oil and natural gas prices. In connection with this interval, the transformation experienced in German foreign policy is that the tension with Saudi Arabia, which lasted for about four years, ended with this visit. Time will tell whether this visit will bring an end to the arms embargo imposed by Germany since 2018 against Saudi Arabia due to human rights violations in the Yemen War. However, if Berlin gets what it wants in terms of energy, it seems highly likely that it will take a step back in this regard. Because the fact that the visit was necessary showed that a step back was taken regarding the murder of Cemal Kak, which is another human rights issue. After Kak’s murder at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, then-Federal Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who harshly criticized the Saudi Arabian administration, announced that under these conditions, arms sales to this country would not be on the agenda.[1]

Another event that caused tension in relations between Germany and Saudi Arabia was that the Riyadh administration led the blockade against Qatar, with which Berlin had close relations. The fact that Germany was among the countries that supported Qatar in the face of this blockade that started in 2017 was also among the reasons why Saudi Arabia started to act at a distance towards this country. Now that the crisis between Qatar and other Gulf Countries has ended, it has been one of the factors that played a positive role in the recovery of Berlin’s relations with the countries in the region. However, despite the lack of improvement in human rights, Scholz’s visit to Saudi Arabia caused reactions and criticism in the German public. Against these criticisms, the poor man responds by saying that human rights issues were brought up during the visit. However, at a time when Germany is in such a need for energy, the level of human rights deficiencies in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman raises questions. In fact, the autocratic interlocutors of the German leaders learned to ignore such explanations, as they knew that this issue of “raising human rights issues” was a symbolic message to the German internal public, and that it had little meaning in terms of bilateral relations. German leaders and even the public are aware of this, but when they raise such concerns during such visits, they feel satisfied.


Leaving the “symbolic issues” aside, the visit was to find as many energy sources as possible to literally “shift out” the humidity in Germany. The statement “we will get through this winter” (wir kommen durch diesen Winter) made by Chancellor Scholz during his trip clearly reveals what the issue means for Germany.[2]According to a document from the German Federal Criminal Office, the energy crisis and inflation will threaten homeland security.[3]and when it is thought that there will be segments who will abuse the public reaction for political gain, as during the Covid-19 epidemic, it can be seen that the expression “break through” has different dimensions.

Germany will “overcome” in any case, but if it does not manage the energy crisis well, it may be difficult for the coalition government in Germany to “overcome”. Already, it is seen that the level of unrest in some parts of the country due to the expensiveness caused by the increasing energy prices and the criticism against the government has increased. Undoubtedly, in terms of energy, dependent countries also feel the negative effects of the energy crisis.

Berlin’s struggle with Russia over Ukraine, without understanding with alternative energy supplies and without guaranteeing energy supply security, is the main reason for Germany’s current embarrassment. The reason why the federal government did not take the necessary steps regarding energy supply security was most likely because it did not anticipate that the tension with Russia would reach this level. However, with the escalation of the crisis and the subsequent pressures, Germany’s decision not to start the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, stopping oil imports from Russia, and Russia’s cutting off gas flow from Nord Stream 1 a while later, dragged the country into a deep energy crisis. . Berlin, which is in search of new supplies to overcome this crisis, is now taking steps that it has not taken before, and is negotiating with Algeria, Egypt, Azerbaijan and the Gulf countries in the search for an alternative to Russian gas.


Anslye Scholz’s visit to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar was held in this context. During the visit, Scholz’s priority was the import of liquefied gas from the UAE and Qatar, the decrease in oil prices as Saudi Arabia and the UAE increased their oil production, and taking the necessary steps to take hydrogen, which is described as the “future energy source”, from all of these countries. In this framework, agreements on LNG and diesel fuel imports were signed with the UAE. It is known that after the crisis with Russia, Germany quickly built regasification facilities to replace the pipe gas purchased from Russia with LNG imports. Considering that the most appropriate way to create a quick alternative to Russian gas is to build these facilities and import LNG from gas exporting countries such as the USA, Qatar and Algeria, it can be said that Scholz took the right steps, albeit late, to “overcome the situation”. However, the delivery of Iranian and Eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe via pipelines were the best alternatives to Russian gas for Germany and other European countries. However, the reserves for the supply countries (such as Iran) and the countries on the most economical route (such as Turkey) prevented the necessary steps from being taken to realize this alternative. Now it’s time for Germany to review these reserves, let go of ideological attachments and take rational steps.

The biggest expectation of Saudi Arabia from the relations revived by Scholz’s visit is the end of the arms embargo imposed by this country and cooperation in the field of technology. In addition, the Riyadh administration expects Berlin to support it on regional issues, especially in Yemen, and to continue its policy of repression against Iran. Time will tell what kind of concessions Berlin has made in this regard in order to “break through”. On the other hand, we will see from the steps that the Federal Government will take in the next process, whether Germany has “forgotten and forgotten seven frosts after weathering”.

[Prof. Dr. Kemal nat, Sakarya niversitesi][1]”Merkel stellt Waffenexporte nach Saudi-Arabien infrage”, Der Spiegel, 21 October 2018.[2]”Wir kommen durch diesen Winter”, Tagesschau, 25 Sep 2022.[3]”Bundeskriminalamt sieht innere Sicherheit durch Energiekrise gefhrdet”, Der Spiegel, 24 Sep 2022.

*Ideas in the articles belong to the author and may not reflect the editorial policy of Anadolu Agency.

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