Turkey needs to reconsider energy security, report says
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe period of cheap oil has came to an end due to possible short or long term crisis in the Middle East over political and social transitions of the Arab Spring and rapid increases in oil prices were possible, an expert said.
“Therefore energy security is a must for Turkey because of its geostrategic location,” Pınar Aydın, assistant professor of the Department of International Relations of Bilkent University, said at a conference of the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), which unveiled a report on the security of critical energy infrastructure yesterday.
USAK’s study was carried out with a view to assessing the current situation regarding the security of Critical Energy Infrastructure Components (CEIC) in Turkey and presented the challenges.
In Turkey, on-site CEIC security measures were in a good state when compared to off-site security measures, the report said, adding, “As a result, while no major problems are encountered through on-site security at LNG terminals, refineries and dams, present risks and threats are more often observed in off-site CEIC.”
The most frequently encountered problems in CEIC security in Turkey are terrorist attacks aimed at pipelines, thefts, violations and accidents, the study noted.
“A feature that adds sensitivity to the importance of pipelines in CEIC off-site security in Turkey is that terrorists prefer oil and natural gas pipelines more to electricity transmission lines for their attacks,” it said.
The study revealed that during the fieldwork, it was expressed by experts that in the event of individual and collective attacks or more extensive attacks on CEIC, it was uncertain how a response would be given, how they would be protected and which institution and its sub-units would be in charge and responsible.
The security for the pipelines is provided by 35 gendarmerie stations en route against terrorist attacks.
“Implemented policies and taken security measures will lose their efficiency in the long run due to the dynamic characteristic of threats and this may cause some security gaps to emerge,” the report said.
Security risks and threats such as terrorist attacks, theft, breaches, accidents, natural disasters and cyber threats should be covered by a mechanism, the report proposed.
The pipeline route spreads across a vast geography and the gendarmerie stations that were initially set up for the protection of the pipeline have had their workloads increased due to the latter’s added general security missions, and consequently there were some shortcomings regarding pipeline security because of these added missions, it said.
“For this reason, especially government and/or private security forces that are exclusively dedicated to the protection of the pipelines, and who are specialized and have good relations with the local inhabitants are needed,” the study said.