Turkey strategic transit route for European energy markets with Ukraine crisis
WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
The conference was also attended by Muharrem Yılmaz, head of Turkey’s leading business association, TÜSİAD.Turkey is emerging as a strategic transit route for natural gas due to the uncertainty surrounding Ukraine following the country’s internal upheaval, according to experts speaking at an April 28 energy conference in Washington.
Senior energy experts discussed Turkey’s energy policy, the importance of natural gas to the Turkish economy, the prospects for Turkey as a gas transit and emerging trading hub, and the energy dimensions of Turkish-U.S. relations, in a Brookings session entitled “Turkey’s Energy Security Calculus: Aspirations and Realities.”
Gareth Winrow, an independent energy expert and a former professor with Istanbul’s Bogaziçi University, said Turkey had become more important as an alternative energy route to Europe since the violent political turmoil engulfed Ukraine.
Turkey imports three-quarters of its energy and 98 percent of its natural gas, of which Russia supplies 60 percent. Turkey serves as a natural geographical bridge between Europe and Asia, and endeavors to become an energy hub, through which Eastern energy can be supplies to global markets – largely European.
Turkey, which imports a net amount of energy, is also striving to diversify its energy supply by bidding to attract Caucasian and Iraqi sources to and through its own borders via pipeline projects.
Turkey has emerged as one of the fastest growing energy markets in the world as a result of “economic development, population growth and urbanization,” said Muharrem Yılmaz, head of TÜSİAD, Turkey’s leading business association.
Turkey is one of the biggest natural gas markets among OECD member states, said Yılmaz. “By 2030, Turkey will be the third largest natural gas market in Europe.”