Author Archives: Zeynep Oguz

Zeynep Oguz is a political and environmental anthropologist specializing in the politics of geology, the so-called "natural resources", and energy in the Middle East. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities at Northwestern University.
A drillship with a white crescent and a white star on a red surface painted on its body in the sea under the gray and cloudy sky.

Harnessing Indeterminacy: The Technopolitics of Hydrocarbon Prospects

Amidst an international crisis sparked by the scandalous confessions of a mafia boss and a pollution and climate change-triggered marine disaster at the Marmara Sea in May and June 2021, Turkey’s Minister of Energy made consecutive announcements of oil and gas discovery (among other valuable minerals such as gold) in Turkey’s offshore waters and onshore lands. Mainstream and state-owned media reported these discoveries as steps in Turkey’s economic wealth and resource independence to come. Critics, however, seemed to think that the announcements were just a ploy to detract attention from Turkey’s real political and economic problems. Following the reactions on social media from Chicago, I was struck by how many people seemed to think that these “discoveries” were actually fake. Many mocked the news about gas discovery in the Black Sea by sarcastically asking if there was an election on the horizon or if a bitcoin mine discovery was next (read more...)