The strategy of "Blue Homeland" is a strong expression of Turkey's will to protect its territorial integrity, to strengthen its national defense, and to make full use of its maritime economic potential. This strategy aims at disabling the Atlantic plans geared towards confining Turkey to its coastlines, even though it has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean Sea. Worthy of note here is that the Mediterranean Sea is of vital importance for Turkey as its access point to the high seas. 
in the present day, Turkey, China, Russia, Syria, and many other countries have started to formulate their own national maritime strategies against the backdrop of a multipolarizing world. üne could thereby observe that the devel­oping world tends to converge towards a common strategy, which consists of securing national coastlines in the first place, and then of gaining access to trade and energy routes in the open seas, while also seeking to establish a common ground for the equal sharing of energy basins among region states. 
The present special issue is framed around the theme of "Blue Homeland", which sheds light on this converging understanding in the developing world. This understanding finds a strong echo in the Maritime Silk Road as the most im­portant pillar of the Belt and Road lnitiative. The Maritime Silk Road offers an ample opportunity for developing countries to secure their national sovereignty in the seas. As such, developing countries will be able to build broader partnerships around shared interests, while preventing foreign interventions. 
The will of the developing countries to pursue their own national interests, to voice their own policy demands, and to have a say in world affairs is getting stronger at the expense of the US-led Atlantic system, whose overseas activities are but a reflection of its claim to dominate the world's energy routes and basins. The strengthening of this political will serves to resolve even the most gangrenous problems between regional countries in the developing world. 
For example, while the Atlantic system represented by the USA-France axis had driven the Nagorno-Karabakh problem into a deadlock for years; Turkey and Russia, with the indirect contribution of lran, have produced a fair solution for the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, in accordance with international law. A similar solution is underway in Syria and Libya. 
Another important development that should be noted in this context is how the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, lndia, China, South Africa) persist in their commitment to take an active part in the solution of international problems. in the Final Declaration of the 1 2th Summit held in Moscow on November 17, 2020, the BRICS has strongly reasserted its "demand for a fair international order", and emphasized that they will continue to work for accomplishing this demand. 


With this issue, we celebrate our first year of publication. At the launch of BRIQ, we declared the following: 
"BRIQ aspires to become a center of intellectual attraction on a global scale, whose role will be to produce inno­vative ideas on how the developing world's demand for a fair world order can be met! We aim to become a platform where the efforts of Turkish intellectuals -as part of a leading country in the Asian Age-- will prove decisive! We are also interested in initiating a sustained dialogue that brings together academics, politicians, and the business world on the matter of possibilities and opportunities offered by the Belt and Road lnitiative." 
BRIQ's first year of existence has led to four issues that successfully fulfill our journal's original vision and mission. These issues stand out on account of the uniqueness of their design, the scope of their special themes, the scientific depth of featured articles, and the diverse profile of contributors from different countries. Our authors include academics from prominent universities based in countries such as China, Turkey, Russia, lran, Mexico, Australia, and Germany. Our first four issues have featured a total of 35 peer-reviewed articles, essays, interviews, and book reviews. 
BRIQ will certainly advance in its quest to become a global platform for scientific exchange, giving voice to scientific perspectives that are often silenced in Atlantic-biased mainstream outlets. 





Based on its cultural heritage and future vision, Syria launched the Five Seas Initiative in 2004, with the intention of improving regional cooperation. This initiative triggered a plethora of new paradigms and terminologies that address several developments expected to influence both the Middle Eastern conflict theater and the international landscape, particularly in the period 2010-2011 After nine years of war that served to undermine the Five Seas Initiative, and upon the failure of the hegemony of global capitalism in its crude forms, it is now time to put forward a real alternative based on common interests between regional and international actors, which would respect regional diversity away from extremism. Since Middle Eastern countries share common problems, proposed solutions to these problems would be more effective if they were formulated and carried out collectively. Ultimately, development is the only way to bring peace to the Middle East, and a lasting solution to shared problems can only be reached within the framework of “Peace Through Development”. The combination of the “Five Seas Strategy” and the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) would provide such a solution by reconstructing southwest Asia and creating a network of infrastructures thanks to Syria’s privileged geopolitical position at the intersection of the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Black Sea. Full engagement with this combined strategy seems to be the best way to avoid another wasted decade for the majority of Middle Eastern countries.

Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative, five seas, geopolitics, Middle East, Syria


The Five Seas Strategy: Its Origins and Development in Context




An eroding perception of maritime peace worldwide and radical questioning of global sea hegemony have emerged as a rapidly growing trend in global politics amidst the demise of Pax Americana and the rise of multipolarity. With US global hegemony in decline, China has developed into a leading actor to reignite international cooperation based on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In this environment, there arises a strong need for a closer reading of the changing character of maritime geopolitics within the context of BRI. To address this need, the present article aims to offer a comparative study of recently escalating tensions in the South China Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. Drawing on a neo-Mahanian conception of maritime geopolitics, this article seeks to answer the following questions: How are South China Sea and Eastern Mediterranean geopolitics shaped by the multipolarization of world politics? What are the key dynamics leading to these changes? How do such changes in one region condition those in another? In what respects are Turkey and China’s geostrategic imperatives affected in this situation? The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) represents the maritime route of BRI, whose starting point is located in the South China Sea and whose final destination is the Eastern Mediterranean, conceived of as a strategic bridge between China and Europe. It follows that BRI’s maritime economic potential primarily relies on South China Sea and Eastern Mediterranean security, i.e. both ends of MSR, whose prospects are intertwined together. One could observe that both Turkey and China suffer from increasing US interventionism at first hand and they have developed similar geostrategic doctrines embodied in the Turkish “Blue Homeland” doctrine and the Chinese “Blue National Soil” doctrine. China and Turkey’s shared geopolitical imperatives and geostrategic conformity are to be better grasped by policy-makers for the future success of BRI. 

Keywords: Eastern Mediterranean, geopolitics, geostrategy, sea power, South China Sea



The Blue Homeland Doctrine expresses Turkey’s legitimate maritime rights within the framework of international law. Efforts to protect these rights make an important contribution to global and regional peace in terms of both implementing international law and the possibility of regional countries benefiting from all resources equitably. Contrary to allegations made by the detractors of the Blue Homeland Doctrine, it seems that not only Turkey but also all countries in the region can reap immense gains from the full implementation of this doctrine. Moreover, this doctrine is far from promoting an “expansionist” policy, especially considering how the Blue Homeland Doctrine anticipates the creation of cooperation mechanisms with riparian states in the Eastern Mediterranean. The implementation of this doctrine will greatly contribute to the development of international trade and the more efficient use of energy resources. Regarding those countries whose attitude is still inspired by “maritime piracy,” one should take into account the fact that Turkey possesses a superior naval fleet to protect its rights and up-to-date military-industrial infrastructure.

Keywords: Aegean Sea, Blue Homeland, Greece, EEZ, maritime


Since antiquity, the Mediterranean region witnessed the rise and fall of all kinds of political and economic systems. It has always been the laboratory of human societies, a melting pot of different religions, philosophies and ethnic groups. Mediterranean countries saw astonishing cultural and aesthetic achievements, but also experienced destruction and acts of barbarism. The Mediterranean gave birth to one of the most powerful political concepts, the idea of the occidental and oriental hemisphere. With the beginning of global capitalism and transatlantic trade, the Mediterranean lost much of its strategic importance and economic momentum. But stagnation is never an option. Today, with the rise of China as the new global player, the Mediterranean and its regional powers gain new options, too. Participation is the key, and mutual understanding a possible beginning. Only international cooperation, global trade and cultural exchange will help to stabilize the vulnerable equilibrium in the Mediterranean. So, what lessons can be learned from history to better understand and explore today’s political and economic potential of the Mediterranean? Some historical figurations persist or have a surprising coming-back, indicating some striking parallels between the Mediterranean of history and the present day.

Keywords: Atlantic Ocean, eastern hemisphere, hegemony, Mediterranean Sea, new world order


Gas Hydrates (Methane Hydrates) are ice-like crystalline solids formed by the trapped of gas molecules in a lattice by water molecules. They are formed under high pressure and low-temperature condition. They usually contain methane gas, which is the main component of natural gas. Water molecules surround the methane molecules trapping them in a ‘cage’ of water molecules to form gas hydrates (GH). They are commonly found in the continental margin (continental slope), seafloor sediments, and near-polar frost (permafrost) areas. Today, marine GH deposits, which can be defined as a type of shale gas on the seabed in economic terms, are seen as a “relatively clean energy source of the near future” and will be an important energy resource as part of the world’s unconventional hydrocarbon revolution. Looking at Turkey, GH occurs at high-pressure and moderate temperatures in the Marmara, Mediterranean, and Black Sea. To carry out work in this area, the Geophysical seismic laboratory established within Dokuz Eylul University with the support of the State Planning Organization (DPT) served as a focal point in many research activities and conducted exploration studies between 2005 and 2018 by mapping GH and taking samples from the seafloor for the first time. Among these studies, the first phase of the National Gashydrate project has been completed and a priceless discovery with a national team has generated decades of energy potential.

Keywords: Black Sea, unconventional energy source, gas hydrates, geophysics, Mediterranean Sea


The Karabakh conflict –which had preoccupied regional and global powers for a prolonged period– has once again become the center of attention with the Second Karabakh War that started on September 27, 2020. Despite the end of military operations, it is clear that this conflict, which lasted for more than 30 years, will not be solved immediately, and that there will be long arguments during the peace negotiations until the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is secured. From the very beginning of the conflict, long-drawn meetings were organized, and many works have been published in academic and popular literature about the issue. However, there is a significant lack of studies that holistically address the historical, ethnic, cultural, religious, political, and legal aspects of the problem. One could argue that the matters of foreign relations, political history, ethnic composition, religious characteristics, and the economic life of the people living in Karabakh are of particular importance in understanding not only the background of the conflict but also its trajectory and possible outcomes. Such matters have shaped a large part of the arguments of the opposing sides, especially in the early days of the conflict. Despite the difficulties in dealing with these matters all at once, it is possible to establish an overall opinion on the causes and the progression of events by revealing the connections between the major topics at hand. In this work, an attempt is made for a more holistic approach to the matter by taking into consideration certain points that are often overlooked in the heat of political arguments.

Keywords: Armenia, Azerbaijan, conflict, Karabakh, peace building