Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Energy Security" Chapter in the New 64th Turkish Government Program,

"Energy Security" Chapter in the New 64th Turkish Government Program,

The new 64th Turkish Government's Program is released in 162 pages document on November 25th, 2015 by the Prime Minister with Parliament speech. Let us read and review together pages 92 through 95 under the section of "Energy Security" heading.

"Energy Security" (Pages 92-95)
We shall take the principles of diversification of energy sources at minimum cost and high quality for continuous and safe delivery to the final consumers of energy. As a rapidly developing country, our current energy resources are not sufficient to meet the needs of our demand. On the one hand we need to ensure security of supply, and on the other hand we need to mobilize our indigenous renewable energy sources, and increase energy efficiency. In addition, we need to investigate the necessary activities to ensure overseas energy sources for long-term and sustainable basis. We anticipate that our evaluation of domestic and renewable energy sources at the highest levels possible, and we shall use nuclear technology for electricity generation. The waste energy utilization will strengthen the strategic position of our country in international energy trade and we shall minimize the environmental impact at competitive energy system.
By taking concrete steps in nuclear energy, we signed agreements to build nuclear power plants at two sites, 4,800 MW in Akkuyu, and 4,480 MW in Sinop respectively. We shall start negotiations for the third nuclear power plant beginning as of this year.
We plan to complete the natural gas transmission infrastructure for housing sector in all provinces.
We will increase the natural gas storage capacity. Within this context, the construction of Salt Lake Underground Storage will be completed in our period.
We signed the international agreement with the government of Azerbaijan, to implement the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project within in this period.
Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline Project, gas to reach Italy via Greece and Albania, and Iraq-Turkey Natural Gas Pipeline Project, are aimed at the realization of gas delivery to Turkey and Europe.
Karapinar Industrial Zone for Energy Generation is planned for allocating land to interested investors in 2016 with 4,000 MW of capacity on 6,000 hectares of empty land that can not be used for agricultural purposes.
We shall complete the 1,200 MWe Ilısu Hydro Dam, to generate 3.8 billion kwh per year.
We shall complete Artvin Yusufeli Dams at the height of 270 meters, which will be the 3rd highest in the world, and the highest in Turkey.
We shall increase the capacity of electricity trade with neighboring countries.
Our efforts will continue to convert our national grid system into a modern network by strengthening the infrastructure of the electricity transmission network.
Electricity generation privatization which was being launched in 2010 will continue.
Increasing use of energy-efficient products will be encouraged, compared to the existing inefficient consumption.
We shall initiate new investments in big lignite basin at Afsin-Elbistan region, to allow the evaluation and exploitation of similar other reserves.
We shall increase oil and natural gas exploration and production inside and outside of the homeland.
Exploration activities for new coal reserves for the determination of the potential of local resources such as geothermal will be maximized.
We shall implement comprehensive research on shale gas resources.
We shall give priority to exploration and production of iron ore, and other industrial raw materials domestically, mainly marble and boron.
We shall create strategies to secure basic supplies of raw materials which are critical for Turkey's economy. We shall establish a system that will increase the added value of critical raw materials, minerals, and mining ores for export.
We will start exploration program for the production of rare earth elements, located in Turkey.
We will improve the compliance with environmental regulations in the mining sector.
We will implement in an effective way for occupational health and safety in the mining industry, with the new measures to improve mining law and other relevant laws and regulations.
We will provide necessary measures to increase the added value of chrome and marble processing mining products domestically.
We will support competitiveness of high mining companies in global scale.
Our priority will be in major reform in the new era of our 'Power Generation Transformation Program" based on domestic resources. The aim of this program is to mobilize domestic resources in homeland to reduce our dependence on foreign energy.
We aim to increase our competitiveness with less input at one hand, and by improving "Energy Efficiency of Primary Transformation Program" on the other, while protecting the environment with less carbon emissions.
We will promote energy efficiency programs, especially in public buildings and facilities while reducing the primary energy intensity.

"Balance of Payments" (page 74)
Due to the nature of the energy sector, we will support the local fabrication in the requirement list of investments to provide high value-added products.
We will increase the share of domestic fabrication of machinery and equipment for wind, solar, and alternative energy sources such as hydroelectric plants
We shall ensure that mining mining activities of Mineral Research and Exploration Directorate (MTA) to move abroad.
We will reduce the dependence on the input of scrap iron and steel industry.
We will promote R&D activities for inorganic chemistry and biofuels in areas such as alternative composite materials.
We will realize the prototype battery production/ fabrication/ development for electric vehicles.
We will increase the attractiveness of free zones to attract investment to our country for high-tech products.
We will create mechanisms to improve competitiveness of domestic machinery manufacturers with appropriate financial incentives.
"Environmental Protection" (page 130)
We will apply environmental awareness of small hydroelectric power plants (HPP) at the highest level to implement these objectives in effective way by making the necessary arrangements. In principle, we will not promote hydroelectric power plants under 10 MW.
"Regional and International Cooperation" (page 152)
In our term, the most important event will be "UN Conference on Climate Change" in Paris between November 30 to December 11, 2015 period in combating climate change. This event would be a test for our participation effectively to the efforts of the international community's respective joint efforts. We will continue our efforts to create positive outcome from the COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Turkey has already announced 21 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emission in accordance with "National Contribution to reduce Global Warming". However, this rate may be revised with a detailed analysis in time.
We, the people of business environment, want our government to be successful. We want political stability, economic stability, comfort and confidence in the markets. If the political authority becomes successful, then the market becomes relaxed, business flourishes, we work better and earn better. We create employment, competitive products and services, we create welfare and better quality of life for our children. The first noticeable detail of the 64th Government, was that the sentences in "Energy Security" section were inconsistent with the text flow. There were too scattered narrative.

Government policies are political preferences. Political preferences of the ruling party is a democratic right. These preferences are authorized by the majority of voters to put into practice. However in the international financial markets, there are established rules and expectations, which all governments are to conform with in today's facts and working environment. Political choices can not contradict with those market rules and expectations. For the implementation of political choices, these are to comply with the risk appetite of the investors, framework terms and conditions of project finance institutions, the strict environmental rules, internationally accepted principles, fair competition, transparency, rule of law, which are to be taken into account. The political will for more investments on fossil fuels, natural gas, imported coal or shale gas are not preferred under COP21 Global warming sensitivities and further political enforcement does not bring desired results.

We notice that less figures are used to explain the wording in the 64th Government Program "Energy Security" chapter. We notice that target figures, installed power, availability, demand, generation, annual increase etc., all figures are missing in the text. Some concepts are too vague, too round, too ball-park. Text is dissociated from the technical language. The language used is in compliance with social scientists jargon completely. The program wording has a lot of editorial errors. We feel that the text has been prepared in a hurry. Some important sentences, initiatives, measures, decisions are added to different places inconsistent with the text flow. The final wording has not been as good as we expected. Everyone in the energy market will read this text, it will be translated into foreign languages. Foreign investors, experts in international financial institutes will carefully read and evaluate. If there are no sufficient numbers, figures, then we have no targets. We were expecting much more mature document to present to our international partners to work for new joint investment projects.

The Government's program will be discussed, evaluated, critiqued in the Parliament shortly, and then will go to the confidence vote. Since the ruling party has an absolute majority, it will probably be accepted as unchanged. God bless you, good luck.

Haluk Direskeneli is a graduate of METU’s Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He has worked in public and private enterprises, in American, Turkish, and JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, in marketing, and in sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as a freelance consultant and energy analyst with thermal power plants as well as using his basic and detailed design software expertise to advise private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of the METU Alumni and the Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Prinkipo, Istanbul 12/01/15

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The G20 Antalya Summit

The G20 Antalya Summit

This year’s G20 summit was held at Belek Resort in Antalya, Turkey on 15-16 November 2015. G20 leaders began to trickle into the city on Sunday morning. Obama held his final security meeting of the day at the White House meeting hall on Saturday night and then boarded AirForce-1 (AF1) in sportswear at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

His advisers, body guards, and the White House press corps accompanied him on the 11-hour flight aboard the Boeing 747. On the flight he slept, awoke, ate breakfast, and put on his black business suit, white shirt, and plain gray necktie. AF1 touched down at Antalya international airport on Sunday morning at 6:58 a.m. The journalists, bodyguards, and advisers exited the plane first. US President Barack H. Obama walked down the stairs from AF1 onto the tarmac alone in a relaxed and sporty manner. A giant armored car approached the stairs coming down from the plane as local civilian authorities welcomed the President. A small boy and girl gave him flowers. Obama got into the vehicle with the US Ambassador to Turkey and hit the road for the G20 meeting escorted by a convoy of armored cars.

The destroyer USS Donald Cook dropped anchor in the Gulf of Antalya in wait. After the first evening’s meetings came to an end, Barack Obama could have chosen to spend the night onboard the vessel, which had also been outfitted with a Seahawk helicopter. Obama preferred to spend the night at the hotel. The following morning he took a run on the track at the hotel’s gym.

During the meetings, he removed the translation headset when he was tired of listening to the conversation that he already knows very well. He often chewed nicotine gum instead of drinking coffee or tea. On the occasions that he did drink coffee, it was brought to him by his staff.

The 2015 agenda of the G20 meeting in Antalya was very weak in the run up to the actual summit. There was not going to be much to talk about other than common global issues. Participants were not so enthusiastic to discuss the details of the Syrian Civil War, the refugee crisis, or global terrorism. The most innocuous topic was to be “Global Warming and Climate Change”.

But the night before the summit, on November 13th, terrorist attacks rocked the capital of France. The attack swiftly transformed the G20 agenda. This group of world leaders were eager to evaluate the terror attack. French President Francois Hollande cancelled his participation at the G20 meeting and sent his foreign minister to act in his stead. The other heads of the G20 countries, however, continued to land in Antalya one by one.

International terrorism, the refugee crisis, and Syria clearly dominated the top of this year’s G20 agenda, however, the details of the discussions that took place behind closed doors were not spoken about at public meetings which were open to journalists. In accordance with the principal aim of the G20, many issues of common importance were spoken about in bilateral talks between G20 leaders in secrecy.

Terror has struck everyone in the world. Last summer, the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed by Ukrainian separatists firing Russian missiles. The aircraft was carrying a large number of civilian tourists, mostly Dutch.

More recently, a Russian plane en route to Saint Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt exploded just after takeoff as explosives that were secretly packed in a suitcase which made it through security at the Egyptian airport were detonated. This incident can be seen as a result of lax security practices employed by the Egyptian airport baggage control staff. Afterwards, many international flights to Egypt were canceled and many nations quickly evacuated their nationals from the country. For security purposes, those evacuating the country left their luggage at the airport to be transported later on separate flights. Egyptian tourism has come to a halt, at least until Egypt receives international approval on its airport security controls.

Vladimir Putin arrived in Antalya on Sunday morning. The presidential plane that transported him was modest, medium-sized, and Russian-made. Special guest to the G20 Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev arrived in a plane that was much larger. Aliyev took his wife arm-in-arm before departure. The presidents of India and Brazil also boasted modest-sized aircrafts.

Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (age 43) arrived with a private plane operated by the Canadian government. He received pop-star treatment at the meetings, portraying a cute, friendly image as a newcomer to world politics.

Angela Merkel and David Cameron were also present. They occupied the back rows of the G20 family photo, and sat to the side during most meetings. They didn’t mind such treatment considering that they receive ample attention elsewhere.

After breakfast and lunch on Monday, G20 leaders held bilateral meetings behind closed doors in their respective hotels. It is well known that the main objective of the G20 meeting is to organize a large number of bilateral gatherings. We do not know what is talked about during such meetings, but maybe we will learn some details in time. During the G20 meeting in Antalya, the Paris massacre was remembered and terrorism was condemned with a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

During the G20 meetings, general issues of global importance were discussed. The final communique was agreed upon and released to the public. A few sentences of this document addressed “Global warming and climate change”.

During the G20 leaders’ family photo session, Vladimir Putin approached Barrack Obama to arrange a talk. Even though Obama’s program was full with prior engagements, he agreed to a short informal meeting. They met over coffee during the lunch-break at a casual corner off to the side. According to Reuters, they talked for about 30 minutes.

Obama and his national security adviser Susan Rice do not know how to speak Russian. Therefore it can be assumed that the conversation took place entirely in English. Here, Putin spoke with the help of his interpreter/adviser on developing a common attitude towards the Syrian Civil War, a potential ceasefire in the country, and ISIS.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has completed his tenure. Everyone agrees that there is not much difference between him staying in power or stepping down. Syria is now falling under temporary, if not permanent, Russian domination. In this casual, impromptu meeting during the lunch break, Obama was informed directly by Putin about the latest situation in Syria and Russia’s initiatives.

Obama held his final meetings with other G20 leaders on Monday. That evening at 17: 00, he held a 1-hour press conference.

Here, Obama discussed the Syrian Civil War, refugees, and the Paris terrorist attacks. We understand that US President Obama has no intention to interfere in Syrian affairs nor any other world conflict during his presidential term before the 2016 presidential elections. He maintains a long-term policy of “indifference/ignorance” towards our local political environment.

When evaluating the proceedings of the G20 meeting, it can be said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was the leader who best utilized the opportunity. He made contacts with anyone he deemed necessary, issued warnings, and informed the world’s leaders on Russia’s position. He spoke with anyone who wanted to discuss his agenda.

If we evaluate Turkey’s current situation, it can be seen that we have limited opportunities on our southern border. There is not much we can do aside from sealing our borders and implementing tighter security measures. Alternately, we can also reduce our fossil fuel imports in order to lessen unnecessary dependence on our northern neighbor.

Haluk Direskeneli is a graduate of METU’s Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He has worked in public and private enterprises, in American, Turkish, and JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, in marketing, and in sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as a freelance consultant and energy analyst with thermal power plants as well as using his basic and detailed design software expertise to advise private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of the METU Alumni and the Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Prinkipo, Istanbul 11/19/15

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

TURKEY: 1-November general elections

"Après moi le deluge", Madame de Pompadour

On 1 November 2015, I was one of thousands of volunteers for “Oy ve Ötesi” (Vote and Beyond), an independent group of observers operating at polling stations throughout Turkey.
We eight volunteers from different educational and social backgrounds came together between 6:45- 19:00 on Sunday in a high school classroom for a common purpose. Coming from very different walks of life, we had never seen each other before. We collected a total of 374 votes, counted them, recorded them, and certified them.
I believe in democracy, for as long as we have the freedom to choose, everything will improve in time by way of mutual communication and the desire to understand one another.
In Turkey’s November 1st general elections, the average populace prioritized security and stability in an ever increasingly volatile geography.
I continue to be optimistic for our markets. We do not have the luxury to say, “après moi le deluge” (after me, the deluge).
I would say that when the appropriate time comes, then we shall be able to prioritize market transparency, accountability, independent monitoring, rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of expression, and independent free media, and it is at that time when we can engage in better practices of parliamentary democracy, the results of which will allow for a better future.
Let me tell you a story you from the distant past. It was years and years ago. As a major contracting company, they were never able to get any orders from big public sector organizations. No matter how much they bid and bid, and fulfilled all the necessary requirements, in the end they never got any positive results.
One day a gentleman came to their office. He said, “Make a consulting agreement with me and let me provide you with full information on the tender”. They signed an agreement with his company in Panama and sent a lump sum of money to their offshore account for consulting services.
After this, a new tender was opened, everything was kept extremely secret. All interested parties were required to submit their proposal dossiers in sealed envelopes. They all handed in their documents 5 minutes before the closing time of the tender.
After their proposal documents were submitted, they were requested to leave the offices immediately in order to avoid any undesired flow of verbal information. Client locked their doors behind us. Everything was arranged behind closed doors. Participants were later asked to declare a second, lower bid price. Blind price quoting without any inside information on competitors has no meaning. However, on that evening, their consultant sent a fax to Company's Ankara office containing all the information on their rivals’ prices.
If there is an information leak within a public institution, it most likely originates from the top, as the lower cadres wouldn’t dare to engage in such an activity. Such occurs not only in our geography, but all over the world.
As a young engineer who recently graduated from university, I thought that this must be “the way things work”.  Since then, time has passed, all of those top decision makers have retired, and the public company at hand was privatized, sold and eventually disappeared from the market. Over all of these years, these archaic procedures have continued and improved.
Today we see new procedures. Your applications for tenders will not be answered unless you are close to the top political administrators, so you should look for new opportunities in Russia’s remote regions or in the Middle East. Considering this, how can we continue to run businesses in such a fragile economy? Can we bear the burden of ever increasing costs? The system has been closed and locked, and hence the economy and investment climate are also inaccessible. Even the works of the privileged few have faced this reality.
I’ve had a difficult time understanding why we have shrouded natural gas prices in secrecy for so many years. I have also always envied the high investment placed in education by our northern neighbor Russia, their skilled mathematicians, their excellent market strategists. Our human capital has difficulty in matching theirs when it comes to trade negotiations in particular. Moreover, this is augmented by the fact that we should drastically and urgently reduce our dependence on their fuel supply. They will surely exploit our disadvantageous situation as long as this dependence continues.
If a trade agreement is kept behind closed doors, there is always some aspect thereof that goes against the people’s common benefit, there is always some aspect that favors top decision makers. The details of the Turkish Stream and Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) negotiations are still unclear. What shall we receive in return for what we concede? What will be the extent of this, our northern neighbor’s Christmas gift?
We know that Russian President Vladimir Putin has an Ph.D. degree in energy economics. There are rumors that ghost writers brought together the wording of his academic dissertation. Anyhow, that is his thesis. Nonetheless, he completely assimilated the content of academic discipline with his office. Compared to his preparations, our decision makers fumble when it comes to academic and practical learning.
At the end of WWII, regardless of the huge human losses they paid on the eastern front, our northern neighbor crushed the last resistance of the Nazi German Army in May 1945. They then turned to the Far East and crushed the Japanese Army in Manchuria in August 1945.
Similarly, the country has now entered with its full weight into the Syrian theater in the most recent phase of the conflict. They have come to Syria for a long, if not permanent stay. Syria is now commencing a long-term accession to Russian territory as had also been the case for Eastern Europe and Manchuria.
We do not have weapons that can counter Russia’s SU-30 fighter planes or its T-90 war tanks. We should have designed and manufacture these weapons much earlier. There’s nothing more we can do right now other than trying to remain peaceful and independent.
The transatlantic superpower of the United States has no intention of interfering in the Syrian Civil War, nor does it need to become embroiled in any international conflict before the 2016 presidential elections. For a long period of time, it has pursued a “policy of indifference” towards us in our relations. Leaders meeting on 15-16 November this year for the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey have no serious agenda. Western Leaders will come and go all in one-day. They will talk about important issues among themselves in bilateral meetings, and the only thing that we will supply during the G20 Summit is the daily catering and hotel services.
On the other hand, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has already completed his mission. It makes no difference whether he stays or goes, Syria is now falling under Russian domination. We have limited capabilities when it comes to dealing with events south of our border. There is not much we can do. We can close our borders and we can limit or block passage between us. We are trapped to the south. The only thing we can do is to reduce our dependence on imported energy, imported fossil fuels, and imported natural gas.
Our general elections were held at the beginning of this month on 1 November 2015. As long as we have the freedom to choose in free elections, we should believe in and trust the common sense and common wisdom of the voters of this nation. We must understand that in these elections the voters opted for stability and security, which they have desperately needed in recent days.
Haluk Direskeneli is a graduate of METU’s Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He has worked in public and private enterprises, in American, Turkish, and JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, in marketing, and in sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as a freelance consultant and energy analyst with thermal power plants as well as using his basic and detailed design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of the METU Alumni and the Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.
Prinkipo, Istanbul, 11 November 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What is the greatest national security threat to the United States?

What is the greatest national security threat to the United States?

On the evening of October 13, 2015, CNN organized the first Debate among Democrat Party 2016 Presidential candidates in the LasVegas CNN studio. In the Debate, there was an important question which revealed one growing importance in politics. The program moderator Anderson Cooper, asked the US Democratic Party presidential candidates,
"What is the greatest national security threat to the United States?"

Hillary Clinton said, "I think it has to be continued threat from the spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear material that can fall into the wrong hands."

Bernie Sanders, who is the new entrant to compete,
"The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we're going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable. That is a major crisis." he said.

Bernie Sanders, reminds us the new British Labor Party Chairman Jeremy Corbyn. He served in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate for many years. He is defined as "Self-proclaimed Social Democrat" and early polls say that he is the most popular Democrat candidate after Hillary Clinton. He is a senior Jewish American politician. Do rich American Jews vote for him? It is unlikely.

Ranking of the most important danger for the US, as "Climate Change" was very remarkable indication to put into the deal. Henceforth the other candidates will pay more attention to global warming, less burning of fossil fuels, and to the reduction of CO2 emissions. The rise of environmentalist politicians continue. The politicians who pay less attention or ignorant to environmental sensitivity, decrease their chances to win.

On the other hand, particularly in Europe and the US, there is no drastic measure yet taken to reduce carbon emissions, not to mention the scandal about VW's emissions. Global warming, does not concern at all the people of the United States. The price of gasoline is dropped to $ 1.95 per gallon. 5.6 liter V-8 motor vehicles are very popular. You can not find everyone, saying "Let us leave our big cars, and let's take a public vehicle".

Realities and needs of the people of Turkey are different. "There are a million issues to improve before the carbon emissions," you might say. Current Account Deficient is high, there is terror, fragile economy, market disturbance, difficulty in financing projects. According to world 2010 statistics, the US is still leading the way with 17 tons of annual CO2 emissions per person. Turkish latest figures were published for 4-5 tons per person per year.

However on each platform, the global warming is entering the agenda. US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other G7 leaders have taken serious decisions about prevention of global warming in the latest G7 conference in Germany. In upcoming 20-November G20 leaders' meeting, this issue will certainly be on the agenda again. By reducing the use of fossil fuels, one should talk about price and market deterrence. Fossil fuels will be subject to import taxes, or the existing tax will be increased. Market observers foresee the escape from fossil fuels in the near future.

USA, China, India, South Korea, they put tax on imported coal they receive. They even have imposed the existing tax two- three fold. The purpose of the tax on imported coal, and fossil fuels provide market deterrence, subsequently to make indigenous and renewable energy sources more attractively priced.

This issue will surely be the G20 leaders meeting agenda in Belek. We, Turkish team, have to be prepared. G7 partners can make a decision. Countries that can not decide their strategies, are to adapt to the decisions of others.

Everywhere in the world, all fossil fuel firing thermal power plant investors are placed to avoid the domestic tax on imported coal by lobbying. They try to prevent tax. But that remains in the past.

In upcoming December 2015 Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris, it is expected to get commitments to reduce carbon emissions from each country. Each country is making own preparations in this regard. Turkey is also making preparations for sure. We, the people away from politics, do not know what the government and relevant ministries get prepared. But surely there is a preparation.

There are suggestions from various sectors in this regard. One of these proposals is put imported coal and imported natural gas to the carbon tax, to collect funds, then to utilize these funds for power from renewable energy sources - that are used in the development of energy generation from wind and sun sources. Thus, we can reach to the pronounced targets for carbon emissions, growth / development. Utilization of indigenous lignite and more renewable, domestic sources of wind- solar power, with local engineering are essential to realize more domestic manufacturing.

Investors are to make calculations and market predictions carefully to foresee the future of imported coal, and imported fossil fuels. If they can not foresee the future, they must share the risk with others by hedging to stay safe financially. If the control valve remains at the mercy of foreign countries, if your current account deficit is at unbearable levels, then you should stay away from imported fossil fuels in the future, and you should try to reduce your dependence.

There is no need for more investment in natural gas pipelines, no need for further investments on imported coal. It is all investors' risk. No matter what investors do, do as you wish, but please do keep us out of this, and do not come to public authorities to save you and pay you for your incorrect decisions.

Haluk Direskeneli is a graduate of the METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He has worked in public and private enterprises, in American, Turkish, and JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, in marketing, and in sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as a freelance consultant and energy analyst with thermal power plants as well as using his basic and detailed design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of the METU Alumni and the Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Prinkipo, Istanbul, 29 September 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Who is Jeremy Corbyn?

UK general elections were held on 8 May 2015. The Labour Party has lost the elections and the leader Ed Miliband resigned. Jeremy Corbyn is elected in British Labor Party Chairmanship as of 12 September 2015 with 60 percent of delegate votes. Jeremy Corbyn was born in 1949. He held no serious public post in the past. His rivals have took him seriously. The minimum number signatures, 36-delegates needed for the nomination were provided almost at the last minute. Jeremy Corbyn had support of young delegates who were using social media. They almost ignored the traditional media.

Jeremy Colby, was born to an electrical engineer father and math teacher mother, as the fourth and the youngest child. He has completed his secondary education with good grades. He attended North London Polytechnic but soon he left his university education. So he has no college degree.

Then he worked in a voluntary program in Jamaica the next two-years. He is against war, against nuclear weapons, against the construction of nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles Trident,. He is against war in Afghanistan, Iraq. He is against the bombing of Syria. He is against the use of fossil fuels in thermal power plants, shale gas fracking, drilling. He was against to apartheid policy in South Africa, so from time to time he was arrested for his picketing. He was actively involved in the process of international persecution of Chilean dictator Pinochet, and the Chilean government of human rights violations. For many years, he writes weekly column to explain his political views in British leftists "Morning Star," newspaper.

He has married for three times. He had three children from his second wife. He wanted to get their children in public schools, although his second wife preferred private schools , so they end their marriage. His first wife was a communication professor. His second wife was a Chilean refugee. His third wife is Mexican. He speaks Spanish fluently. He follows the literature of Latin America closely.

He has no car. He rides bicycle. Since 1983, he won 7-elections held in North London. He has beard for 33-years as the member of the House of Commons. He is one of the rare bearded member of Parliament. Since his 20-year-old age, he is a vegetarian, he does not drink. He comes from the Christian tradition, but he believes to be in an equal distance from all belief. He is Atheist and Republican. So he does not sign the national anthem starting "God save the Queen", but stay respectfully silent. He is not against the Royal British Monarchy, nor against the concept of the European Union. But he wants Britain to be distant to Nato obligations.

It has a minimum spending budget while working as a member of parliament. His office is rent from a charity. He lives a very modest life. Outside parliament he does not wear a tie. He buys cheap wearing simple plain dresses. He participated to a TV program with sweater that his mother has made.

He supports animal rights activists. He is approaching gay rights with the tolerance. He recently formed a "shadow cabinet" with half of members were female parliamentarians.

Let us come to his attention with Turkey. He is one of the members of the European Parliament who prepared "Human Rights Report in Turkey" after 12.September coupe. This report dated 1983 had very serious criticism to the events that took place in that period with adverse reactions in Turkey. He knows details of human rights violations in Turkey in the past. He voices those criticism in the British parliament. He wants to end university tuitions. He wants each and every student be able to play a musical instrument during secondary education. He supports more budgets for Art, opera, music. He plans to remove 500m £ of spending cuts on culture. Art is essential to human beings, he says. He says, government should allocate more public funds for The BBC broadcasts on money for art- culture. He wants to take more taxes from many high earners.
He wants to erase austerity measures, so that poor will not be affected.
He wants to take serious measures against tax avoidance, and tax evasion.
He supports renewable energy.
He wants to increase miniumuwage to not less than £ 10 per hour.
He speaks always very seriously, not doing much humor.

He wants to renationalize the Privatized railways. He supports the renationalization of power plants again. He wants to freeze the rental price. He is looking positive to the arrival of refugees. It advocates the unification of Northern Ireland with the south. He says it is necessary to open dialogue with the Palestinian organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, since one can make peace negotiations with dialogue. Argentina and the Falkland Islands should be joint management, he says. Conservative prime minister, David Cameron says, Jeremy Corbyn bears "national security risk".

In this era of world era, it is so interesting and exciting to have such an unconventional party leader. We understand that British voters are tired of conventional politics, and labour delegates say that they want to have a realistic, left-wing politics. If the economy goes worsened, he may have better chance of winning the next elections. The next elections is after five years of regular general elections. Do we need such leaders in all climates? We wish success to the new British Labour party leader in 2020 elections.

Prinkipo, Istanbul, 29 September 2015

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.
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