ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey signed a deal with Azerbaijan
to build the $7 billion Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline (TANAP) to carry Azeri gas to European markets today. Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız and his Azeri counterpart Natiq Aliyev put their signatures on the agreement.
“Today we have taken a historic step,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
in his speech yesterday at the signing ceremony.
“We firmly support the southern natural gas corridor projects that envisage transferring natural gas from the Caspian basin and Central Asia to Europe
via alternative routes, in order to provide our own energy supply security and to contribute to the energy supply security of Europe. Realizing the southern natural gas corridor is also important for Azerbaijan
to carry its natural gas reserves to Europe
in a safe way,” he said.
Erdoğan stressed that the landmark agreement had come on the heels of two significant previously-realized pipeline projects.
“The Baku-Tbilisi-Cayhan crude oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline connect each other in a very special way,” he said.
The project will establish an “organic bond” between Azerbaijan
and Europe, he added.
“What makes these projects a reality is the fraternity and friendship relations between the two countries,” Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev said. Azerbaijan
has about 2.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas reserves, which will be enough to supply gas for the TANAP pipeline for almost 100 years, he added.