China’s One Belt, One Road promises infrastructure development, increased trade, and joint ventures. Countries along the route are enthusiastic about the project, looking forward to benefiting from Chinese finance, physical investment, and technology. Turkey is no exception.
Turkey feels that, because their country literally and geographically links Asia with Europe and the West with the East, they should have a special position on the One Belt, One Road. However, it is the port of Piraeus that has become the center of China’s activities in the region. In fact, the port of Piraeus has reached a size five times larger than the Turkish port across the Aegean, the port of Alsancak in İzmir.
It is Greece, and not Turkey, which is China’s strongest maritime partner, and Turkey has accepted this fact. Given the long running close partnership relation between Greek ship owners and Chinese shipping companies, it is no surprise that Piraeus has become the center of China’s activities in the region.