Turkish minister denies buying smuggled oil from ISIL, slams Western reports
AA PhotoEnergy Minister Taner Yıldız has again denied claims that Turkey has bought smuggled oil from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, responding to a New York Times report that Turkey was a destination for black market oil supplied by militants.
“The Turkish Republic is a constitutional state and it must buy and sell according to that,” Yıldız told reporters on Sept. 15 during a visit to Qatar.
“It is not our problem if someone says that ISIL oil is mixed with oil coming from Kirkuk. We have not been informed about it, and the whole world knows we would take necessary measures if we were told about something like that,” he added.
Yıldız slammed such reports as having certain intentions and “trying to create an image of Turkey cooperating with ISIL.”
The New York Times recently reported that Turkey had not taken sufficient measures to end the trade, at the same time as implementing an open door policy to foreign fighters into Syria to wage jihad with ISIL.
Oil smuggling has long been an issue both from Iraq and Syria, especially after the first Iraqi war when a global ban on oil shipments from Iraq was imposed.
This gave rise to an important sector, with locals on all sides of the borders profiting considerably from the black market using hundreds of tankers and hidden pipelines.
After ISIL recently secured authority over oil reserves in Iraq and Syria, concerns rose that it had generated millions of dollars of revenue from the oil trade.