Turkey will not pursue any energy projects with Israel until permanent peace is established in the region, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Tuesday.
Yildiz attended the “Mediterranean Energy Perspectives – Turkey Report” introduction meeting in Ankara and answered media’s questions beforehand.
When asked about the claim that Turkey was used as a transit country for Israeli natural gas, Yildiz said “We try to use energy projects as requirements of peace. We never talk about economic feasibility of a project without political feasibility. Our national policy is based on this understanding.”
“However, without a permanent ceasefire that would satisfy all sides, we can not think of any energy projects with Israel. People have a tendency to forget the inhumane situation in Gaza, just because we do not see it in the news for the past few days does not mean we should forget what has been happening in the region.”
Yildiz said that oil exploration companies are finding oil around Turkey’s southern cities of Antalya and Mersin. Turkey along with significant international companies in the sector continue to search for oil and natural gas in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, said Yildiz. “If there is oil we will find it.”
Yildiz also said that exploration activities around Romania in the Black Sea region are ongoing.
Yıldiz answered questions about the allegations of Turkey exporting jet fuel to Israel. “Turkey is a country grounded in law. I have said many times that Turkey has not exported jet fuel to Israel. All calculations are out in the open, we do not hide anything. There has not been any exportation,” said Yildiz.
“These allegations are speculation carried out by ill-minded people. If they spent as much time searching for local energy resources as they do on speculations, they would be more productive citizens for their country,” said Yildiz.
Yildiz said that jets take fuel on can not be showed as exported from Turkey. In terms of geographic location, Turkey is located near energy resources in the east and energy hungry countries in the west, according to the energy minister.
“Turkey’s critical location is important in terms of energy resources and we are closely monitoring the events in the region”.
“Construction of South Caucasus Pipeline, part of the Southern Gas Corridor, is to begin on September, 20. This will be linked to Trans Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline project,” Yildiz said. “These projects will serve as transition routes to carry the resources of the east to the west.”
The Trans Anatolia project, also part of the Southern Gas Corridor, is intended to transport natural gas, to be produced in the Shah Sea 2 field and others in Azerbaijan and possibly other neighbouring countries, through Turkey to Europe. The construction of the projects will be finished by 2018 .