Turkey’s energy vision as a bridge for peace

Energy is a vital need for people since the tools and technology people use in their daily lives and find essential for their subsistence depend on energy supplies. And for energy production, the necessary resources should be put to use, as without them our world would be mainly out of electricity, petroleum and natural gas, which are basic needs for our living. These energy resources are of the essence for each and every one of us.

Considering this wealth is imperative for all, its proper supply is crucial. Yet, not all people have access to energy; especially in parts of Africa and Asia the lack of electricity impairs peoples’ lives and well-being, economic growth and social development. Turkey’s vision is to facilitate the entire globe with access to power. And indeed, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made an important remark in his speech at the closing session of the sixth Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit in Istanbul stating, "When we start our G20 presidency, we plan to take steps in energy security, which is indeed a guarantee for stability. We want to be a bridge of peace. Energy should not be seen as a weapon for conflicts, it should be seen as a facilitator to further improve the well-being of people.”[1]

Turkey as an “energy corridor”

Turkey is a major center growing both as a regional energy transit hub and a consumer economy with an expanding population. Turkey has substantial potential for renewable energy resources, and ranks seventh in the world and first in Europe in terms of geothermal energy.[2] With an emphasis on people first, Turkey is making major strides in finding alternative sources to fossil fuel, using renewable energy and bringing in nuclear energy as a way to multiply facilities for more electricity generation. In fact, Turkey has experienced some of the fastest growth in energy demand of countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) over the past three years. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country’s energy use will be growing at an annual growth rate of about 4.5% from 2015-2030.[3]

Other than its own domestic needs, Turkey is also endeavoring to act as a trustworthy partner to establish a stable flow of energy supplies over its own territory. The energy sources in the East should be transferred to those countries in need in the West and this is another place where Turkey as a facilitator providing an “energy corridor” for world’s energy supplies. The geostrategic location of the country unites the two sides of our globe and provides a safe route making Turkey a guarantor to all countries that expect this vital lifeline support without any shutdowns.

Turkey is seeking to enhance its position as an energy transit state with its political stability, the rule of law, and a developed infrastructure. Maintaining safe routes for import and export of energy supplies will benefit the globe as a whole. It is a key part of oil and natural gas supplies logistics from the Caspian region and the Middle East, preserving 72% of the proven fuel oil and natural gas resources of the world, as well as from Russia to Europe. Turkey is a major transit point for seaborne-traded oil and undertaking a more important role for pipeline-traded oil and natural gas. The volume of oil from Russia and the Caspian region transmitted to the Western market is via the Turkish straits through which 3.0 million barrels per day have flowed in 2013.[4]

The major component of the “East-West Energy Corridor” is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) crude oil pipeline system extending from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) field through Azerbaijan and Georgia to the terminal at Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The Iraq-Turkey (Kirkuk–Yumurtalık) Crude Oil Pipeline System transports the oil produced in Kirkuk and other areas of Iraq to the Ceyhan (Yumurtalık) Marine Terminal. European countries that are importers of natural gas are interested in Turkey to play a vital role in this natural gas transit. There are some other pipeline projects that will facilitate this task such as the South East European Pipeline (SEEP), Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy Pipeline (ITGI), Turkey – Iraq Pipeline and extension of the Arab gas pipeline.[5]

Turkey seeks full cooperation

Turkey’s consumption and imports of energy supplies make it cooperate closely with international companies, organizations and state institutions. In 2013, foreign investment in Turkey’s energy sector amounted to $2.5 billion dollars, which was an increase of 24.7% on the previous year.[6] At present around 26% of the total energy needs of the country are met by domestic resources, while the greater part is provided from imports.[7] Turkey's total cost of energy imports totaled $239 billion between 2009 and 2013, while $37 billion was spent in the first eight months of 2014, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.[8] And coal fired power stations are an important mix in the electricity generation in Turkey, and almost all of Turkey’s coal imports are hard coal, which Turkey does not produce in sufficient quantities.

Peace is essential for energy security

Turkey growing as an economy with more energy needs, functioning as a transit hub and an importer of diversified energy supplies is a facilitator in all respects.

However, it is apparent that the world is facing challenges in terms of energy security with the emergence of new conflicts and actors that are threats to energy sources. Even if a country possesses adequate supplies for its own people, and surplus for exports, regional confrontations and terrorism impede   energy supplies and their distribution in and out of the country. This is how the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz put it; “As Eurasia is important for world energy markets, the security of the global energy supply must be provided for by global cooperation, and Turkey should receive support from Western countries in its fight with terrorism as it is a threat for global energy supply.”

Conflicts and terror give way to insecurity, which only leads to cessations that impair economies, investments, and services. For that reason, Turkey is committed to peace, which is the most crucial element in establishing the safe circumstances for utilizing energy sources, and delivering needed energy supplies to people all over the world.

Adnan Oktar's piece on Arabian Gazette:


[1] Davutoglu: Energy to top Turkey's G20 presidency agenda, Anadolu Agency (http://www.aa.com.tr/en/s/424575--davutoglu-energy-to-top-turkeys-g20-presidency-agenda)
[2] Turkey’s Energy Economy and Future Energy Vision, Turkish Policy Quarterly, Taner Yıldız (http://www.turkishpolicy.com/dosyalar/files/13-18.pdf)
[3] US Energy Information Administration, Turkey analysis (http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=tu)
[4] Turkey Ponders Role as Oil Hub (http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/Turkey-Ponders-Role-as-Oil-Hub-2014-04-22)
[5] The Way Towards Energetic Independence, Oil Book (https://www.abo.net/en_IT/publications/reportage/turchia/turchia_3.shtml)
[6] Realization of Turkey’s Energy Aspirations, Brookings Institute, (http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/04/realization%20turkeys%20energy%20aspirations%20winrow/turkeys%20energy%20aspirations)
[7] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey’s Energy Strategy (http://www.mfa.gov.tr/turkeys-energy-strategy.en.mfa)
[8]  energy import costs $239 billion in past 5 yrs, Anadolu Agency (http://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/398641--turkeys-energy-import-costs-239-billion-in-past-5-yrs


2014-12-10 14:18:10

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