12. September 2023
Topic:  Circular economy

Turkey’s Leap Towards a Circular Economy: A Path to Self-sufficiency and Sustainability

Turkey’s Leap Towards a Circular Economy: A Path to Self-sufficiency and Sustainability

Turkey is discovering the power of the circular economy as the key to sustainable self-sufficiency. Read how the country is becoming a leading player in the global trend towards economic and environmental resilience.

Strategic Autonomy in a Global Perspective

The emergence of the concept of “strategic autonomy” into the limelight, particularly in the leading economies like the European Union and the United States, underscores a vital shift in global economic strategies. The so-called “Globalization 2.0” model, once a celebrated economic-political ideology, has faced repeated blows - from the 2008 financial crisis to the destabilizing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine War.

The pitfalls of extreme liberal trade and over-dependent economic systems are becoming increasingly evident. These vulnerabilities, evident in sectors such as machinery, pharmaceuticals, and energy, have nudged world powers to reconsider their strategic approaches. Both the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and the EU's green agreement stand as testaments to this shift, emphasizing the need to reduce external dependencies and foster self-reliance.

Connecting Global Circular Movements: The Case of European Cities

Our recent interview at ltai.cz shed light on how European cities are steering towards the circular economy, underscoring the transformative potential of turning urban waste into valuable resources. "Circle Economy," a Dutch non-profit, spearheaded the Circle City Scans initiative, underscoring the immense potential cities hold in leading this eco-revolution. From Amsterdam to Prague, cities have started to embrace sustainability through these scans, setting a benchmark for other global cities. This continental shift further validates Turkey’s timely move towards a more sustainable, circular model.

The Circular Revolution in Turkey

Türkiye's move to establish a circular economy and adopt a zero waste-centric mechanism across all sectors holds significant implications, not only in combating inflation but also in bolstering its economic resilience. By introducing cyclical economic systems in essential sub-sectors, Turkey aims to reduce its dependence on imports, thereby narrowing its current account deficit.

In the context of global trends, the nations successfully incorporating the principles of the circular economy are undeniably positioning themselves to gain strategic autonomy. Notably, Turkey’s efforts in this direction, under the auspices of first lady Emine Erdoğan and the establishment of the U.N. Zero Waste Advisory Board, have placed the nation at the forefront of this global transition.

Investments in Waste Technologies and R&D

Looking ahead, waste management technologies emerge as key investment domains, pivotal to realizing the vision of a circular economy. Turkey's collaborations with countries like Azerbaijan and South Korea in this realm further accentuate its commitment. The focus on harnessing rare metals and earth elements from recycled products underlines the significant potential of research and development in this sector.

Furthermore, keeping tabs on R&D endeavors in the G-7 economies, such as the U.S., EU, and Japan, will be essential for Turkey. The massive global investment figures speak volumes: with the global private sector already investing $700 billion into circular economy initiatives, and projections for 2023 reaching up to $800 billion, Turkey stands at a critical juncture to secure a significant market share.

The Global Move Toward Sustainable Self-sufficiency

Turkey’s embrace of the circular economy is not an isolated move. It resonates with a larger global trend wherein nations are progressively acknowledging the need for self-sufficiency and sustainable growth. As countries navigate the uncertainties of the modern world, the circular economy offers a promising path, intertwining economic stability with ecological responsibility.

With more urban hubs like European cities championing the circular model, there's a collective stride towards a future where nations not only thrive on their own resources but ensure these resources remain sustainable for generations to come.

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