According to different estimates, between 36 and 40 percent of the world oil reserves and between 22 and 23 percent of the world natural gas reserves are under the control of six states comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE (Table 1). While only less than 0.6 percent of the world population, around 36 million, live in these countries in conditions above world standards, more than 20 percent of the world population, around 1.6 billion, live in their immediate geographical vicinity –India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen- in conditions below world standards (Table 2). For example, GDP per capita levels among the GCC countries range from the lowest 14,031 $ in Oman to the highest 64,193 $ in Qatar, in terms of purchasing power parity. However, in the latter group, GDP per capita levels range from 284 $ in Eritrea to 4,028 $ in Iran, in terms of purchasing power parity.
Turkey-GCC Relations: Is There a Future?
The historical solution to the security problem in the Persian/Arabian Gulf, that is, the active military protection of a super power, is no longer sustainable as the unipolar world gives way to a multipolar one and the credibility of the United States to provide military security is being increasingly questioned. This paper addresses a question neglected by both international and regional analysts: can Turkey play any role in the future Gulf security architecture? The paper argues that Turkey can help the GCC states develop effective state institutions and build regional institutional mechanisms to solve potential crises and alleviate the security dilemma in the Gulf. It can deliver this public good to the region precisely because Turkey has strong economic and political interests to have good relations with all sides concerned with the Gulf security.
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