Turkey shouldn’t ruin ties for energy deals, think tank head says
Turkey does not have the luxury to ruin ties with any country, the director of a think tank says. REUTERS photoTurkey does not have the luxury of being able to ruin ties with any country as it tries to become an energy corridor, according to the director of an Istanbul-based think tank.
Haldun Yavaş, secretary-general of Caspian Strategy Institute (HASEN), which conducts research on the Caspian region, said Turkey should conduct its ties ‘wisely’ and ‘safely’ with the international community. “We (Turkey) don’t have the luxury of ruining ties with any country whether it is with Europe, Middle East or countries in the Caspian region,” he told Hürriyet Daily News in an interview.
The think tank is organizing the Caspian Forum in Istanbul on Dec. 4-5. The conference aims to explore the economic, political, and strategic potential of the Caspian Region. The last conference took place in New York in September with a number of high profile personalities in attendances, namely Turkish and Azerbaijan foreign ministers, Ahmet Davutoğlu and Elmar Mammadyarov.
Yavaş said the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline Project (TANAP) is not an alternative project to Russia given the fact that Europe’s gas demand has been widely met by the energy-rich country. “It is a project that contributes to the diverse nature of Europe’s demand for gas.” The groundbreaking ceremony of the project, which will carry Azerbaijani gas to Europe via Turkey, is expected to take place at the beginning of 2014.
Asked if projects similar to TANAP could be launched in the near future, Yavaş said it may be a possibility, as long as Turkey could prove it was a reliable transit partner. “Countries that prove their reliability as transit partners will be required to increase their capacities,” he said.