Minister not pleased with energy price hike

Minister not pleased with energy price hike

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Minister not pleased with energy price hike

A recent price hike in natural gas was obligatory, says Energy Minister Yıldız. AA photo

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız took a defensive stance after waves of energy price hikes caused uproar among the public and oppositional parties.

Yıldız reiterated his view that the natural gas price hike would have been worse had the government not reached an agreement with Russia on a deal to reduce natural gas prices late last year, speaking at the 65th Geology Congress of Turkey in Ankara yesterday.

Noting that the government had been selling natural gas at a price lower than the purchasing price, which was not a sustainable policy, Yıldız said, “If we had not secured a discount from Russia in 2011, we would have had to hike prices at a different rate. I am not pleased with this price hike. I have explained the reasons for the hike, and this was an obligatory step. But explaining the reasons does not mean that I am pleased with it.”

Yıldız announced April 1 that natural gas prices would rise 18.7 percent. One consequence of the energy price hikes was that Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines increased ticket prices between five and 10 Turkish Liras for domestic flights, and at least seven liras for international flights.

“Turkey does not have the most expensive natural gas [in the world]. Until March 30, it had cheaper natural gas than any of the 27 member countries of the EU. How was this possible, given that natural gas is not a local energy source?” Yıldız said.