in: The Black Sea, Past, Present and Future, Erkut,G.,Mitchell,S., Editor, British Institute At Ankara And İstanbul Technical University, Bıaa Monograph 42, Ankara, pp.107-118, 2007
Dr. Dilek Özdemirg
Dr. Oya Akın*
The Black Sea Basin influences a wide geography extending from Eastern Europe to Eurasia and Asia. This area holds a great portion of the world’s energy within its wide hinterland. Due to changing networks of socio-economic relations across the world, and the establishment of new transport corridors connecting Europe, Caucasus and the Middle East, strategic importance of Turkey has increased considerably. In this respect, it is imperative for Turkey to make use of her human capital, resources, and market potential in order to strengthen her position by controlling and directing flows of raw materials, goods and products passing through.
In the past two decades, Zonguldak-Bartın-Karabük (ZBK) sub-region in the Western Black Sea, which had been an important growth pole for coal mining and iron and steel industries, is faced with down-sizing and privatisation in heavy industries, unemployment and subsequent out-migration from the region. In the restructuring of the ZBK sub-region, tourism and logistics can play an important role in boosting the economy of the region which has the potential of being an important gateway to Turkey. Therefore, in order to benefit from the geopolitical advantage of Turkey, and to realise regional development in the ZBK, these sectors have to be developed by strategic spatial planning and investment into human capital and technical infrastructure.