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Turkey as Caspian Energy Hub?

Turkey’s dependence on energy resources pushes the country’s authorities to make great efforts to turn the country into the region’s energy hub. Meanwhile, the country’s geographic location, economic and political stability turns it into a perfect and even indispensable regional energy hub.

Thus, the efforts made by the Justice and Development Party throughout 13 years for achieving this goal brought their results and Turkey has in fact turned into such an energy hub.

Important projects such as the Southern Gas Corridor and its main part TANAP, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, as well as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project increase Turkey’s role in the region even more.

In order to strengthen its position as an energy hub even more, Turkey has started talks on constructing Turkish Stream gas pipeline initiated by Russia. However, this project remains on paper and it is expected to remain a source of contention between Ankara and Moscow for a long time to come since the two countries interests on this project differ fundamentally.

Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said that Russia regards Turkey only as a transit country for the Turkish Stream. He added that Moscow wants Turkey to be only a transit country for Russian gas.

“It is not advantageous for Turkey to be only a transit country for Russian gas,” said Yildiz. “Earlier, we discussed the issue of creating a joint gas distribution network with Russia.”

The minister said that initial agreements were reached between the two sides on this issue, but unfortunately, Russia changed its position. Yildiz added that this project [Turkish Stream] should meet the interests of both Russia and Turkey.

“Additional time is need for implementing this project,” he said.

Certainly, Turkish government will never make concessions to Russia in this issue to the detriment of its own interests. The country’s interests include achieving discount on Russian gas, as well as creation of a joint gas distribution network.