The controversial first shipment of oil from the Kurdish region of Iraq was exported through Turkey last month; meanwhile, Turkey is trying to expand its energy cooperation with Central Asian states. In an email interview, Gareth Winrow, an independent Turkey analyst, discussed Turkey’s energy priorities and key energy partners.
WPR: What are Turkey’s main energy-related goals and through what strategies has it pursued them?
Gareth Winrow: Turkey’s priority is to satisfy the energy demand of a growing economy. With little gas or oil, Turkey imports 75 percent of the supplies to satisfy its energy needs. Turkish officials are encouraging the development of renewable forms of energy, are investing more in local coal production and are planning to commission the first of three planned nuclear power stations by 2020. They are also hoping to discover hydrocarbons in the Black Sea and extract shale gas from onshore fields, if doing so is commercially viable.