Energy deal with Israel must be ‘politically feasible’

Energy deal with Israel must be ‘politically feasible’

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Energy deal with Israel must be ‘politically feasible’

Turkish energy Minister Taner Yıldız participated to the presentation of an “ecological home” project. AA photo

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız reiterated once more on Feb. 16 that Israel needed to fulfill the conditions expressed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before any energy deal can be sealed. “The project of transferring oil from Israel to Europe via Turkey may be feasible. But it has also to be feasible in political terms. If they want to realize this project, Israel has some steps to make,” Yıldız said responding to reporters’ queries on a possible pipeline deal with Israel.

Turkey’s conditions for restoring ties with Israel include an apology for the 2010 Mavi Marmara raid, compensation for nine Turks who were killed by Israeli commandos in the raid and an end to blockade of Gaza.

Many, including Israeli newspapers, have suggested Turkey’s Zorlu Energy Group could become involved in an Israeli offer to lay an undersea natural gas pipeline to Turkey for export to Europe. The company said it has been an important energy player in Israel and has shares in several power plants in the country, adding that the idea of laying an undersea pipeline between the two countries had been broached several times in business meetings but that no official offer had been made. 

Change in mentality to increase energy efficiency 

Speaking during a presentation of the “ecological home” project of the Steelife company, Yıldız also said that Turkey is hoping to achieve energy savings of 20 percent by 2023, the centenary of the Turkish Republic, but it must still alter its mentality if it desires to meet these goals. “This is not limited to issuing laws or regulations. This is a culture, and we have to diffuse it to everyone,” he said. 

Yıldız added that it was important for Turkey to attain energy efficiency of 30 percent in apartments as the country currently imports 72 percent of the energy it uses.

Yıldız also said the government had laid out a regulation on energy performance for buildings. “We are saying that with this regulation, construction permits will only be granted provided that they pass [water and energy efficiency tests],” said Yıldız.