“We have Entered the EU in the Energy Realm… Physically and de facto!”

taner-yildizEnergy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız has participated in the introductory meeting of the Bosphorus Energy Club. In a statement, he disclosed that, “we have ventured into the European Union, converging at a physical and actual point, since a long time, in a de facto entry…This, I wish to underline, I say from the angle of the energy sector.” The roster of attendees of the promotional convention, staged in the premises of the ornate and plush Sait Halim Paşa Yalısı, on the Sarıyer waterfront, featured Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız, the Bosphorus Energy Club’s Founding Chairman Mehmet Öğütçü, BP Turkey’s General Manager / Chairman Bud Fackrell and Egegaz’s General Manager / Chairman Haydar Çolakoğlu, in addition to numerous other prominent representatives and figures from the energy sector.

Delivering the inaugural speech of the assembly, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız underscored the following key points in his statement; “There are a number of aspects that never undergo a change or a transformation. We may initially start from what they are. At the outset, we are confronted with the stark reality that petroleum, naturalgas and coal of various varieties currently satisfy approximately 75% of the world’s requirements, each in  their own fields, along with the perceived fact that this situation is anticipated to prevail for the upcoming 30 to 40 years, intact in this manner and structure. At this juncture point, we are obliged to fully comprehend the phenomenon that we are really suppressed, crushed under this irreplaceable adversity although we are struggling hard to effect adjustments and amends in coping with the dictates of the pressuring climate change, and exert frenetic efforts to ensure that they conform and align with the environment… We have to confess to this burgeoning truth. There is no questioning that we have to transit from mere expressions of wishes to facing bare facts, realities. The benefits that could be derived from such strenuous endeavors will be reaped by this generation, and undoubtedly the burden of this befalls on the shoulders of the posterior generations. Today, we are living in a world that is exposed to wondrous weather diversity, marked by scorching temperatures at one place and crippling, chilly breezes and storms taking place at another… all this transpiring at the same moment and in the same season. That is why, while devising strategies for Turkey, we have ascertained the conclusion that it would be much more convenient and accurate to develop projects, albeit comparatively at a higher cost, but existing and applicable in conjunction with the environment… not despite the environment, and that is exactly what I have put into implementation.”

Providing an overall evaluation on and insight into the developments that have surfaced recently in the Mediterranean, Minister Yıldız furnished the following remarks: “We are not in a position to act as if nothing has happened in the Mediterranean. And, what is more curial, we are certainly aware that this is not a state of affairs that could be practically sustained with an infinite lifespan and winding. We maintain the conviction that both the South Cyprus Administration and the Northern Cyprus Turkic Republic all possess rights and entitlements on these undersea deposits in this basin. Our esteemed Prime Minister had made a poignant point of this acknowledgement. We are for the proper and just sharing of any and all natural resources, and natural assets that could be potentially extracted and unveiled as a result of such drilling. That is what we imply by sustainability. As you may notice, we are somehow unable to put in serious and substantial contributions pertaining to this development, relating to such projects, as this is contingent upon adequately forging an agreement and common understanding on such points and aspects, and to come to the fore following the conclusion and satisfactory termination, maturation of some of the political underpinnings.”

Disclosing that they would step in when and if Iraq and the Northern Iraqi Governments’ requirements manifest themselves openly, Energy and Natural Resources Minister revealed that, “If we now rotate our focus toward the subject-matters of Iraq and Northern Iraq, let me first re-affirm that Turkey is a state of law/rule. All of the decisions and stances taken should be regarded as contributions that we willingly make towards the normalization of Iraq — as a consequence of the agreements and covenants executed by both the central Iraqi Government as well as the Northern Iraqi side. Our fundamental preferences are structured on whatever the Iraqi Constitution stipulates. At this juncture, I contend that we have to confirm and reiterate once again that the whole Iraqi nation and peoples retain a right, privilege and entitlement for any and all of the petroleum and nautralgas that straddles the entire territory of Iraq. We had already initiated the tripartite mechanism with Iraq through a preliminary acquiescence. Later on, Mr. Shehristani and Mr. Nechirvan Barzani assured us that they would be in a position to foster the initiative without even a resort to the tripartite mechanism. From our flank, there is virtually no encumbrance or impediment to proceed ahead. If they ever accomplish a set-up that they mutually and collectively consider as beneficial to all concerned, in respect of sharing this asset and resources, this is definitely and indeed a good turnaround for us. But, no proposal to share a nullity should emerge from that place. Such an offer would be in a position that it will be unacceptable in their own countries. Whenever they need us, we are just either at Baghdad or Irbil. If they do not require our intercession at this moment, right away, we are on stand-by back in Ankara. The ball is in their court.”

Stressing that entry into the European Union had materialized, physically and de facto, specifically in the energy domain, Minister Yıldız elaborated his views by declaring, “The fact that it has not been exposed to discussions and deliberations is owing to political considerations and pretexts. And, the Southern Cyprus local administration has placed a reservation on this chapter. Let us indulge in some simple arithmetic. This is a plank that forces a comparison of a place and enclave with less than one million populace with a 76-million capacity. As you may realize, this is not a plausible standpoint. And, you will witness, in the future, that it too is not a sustainable situation. We will be seeing all this outcome… altogether. In actual terms, we have already entered into the European Union… since a long time. This, I say from the perspective of the energy sector. You may recall that I have not uttered even a word in regard to the opening of the 15th negotiation chapter for the past two years. I act regardless of whether it is launched or not. In fact, this is not a right attitude. This is plainly the effort that an Energy Minister could possibly exert for the commencement of this chapter. But the entire energy sector in Europe recognize that the projects developed in the naturalgas, the levels that we have attained in relation to the electricity segment, each and all reflect and demonstrate an actual and real, prevalent  state that we are markedly ahead of several others in such areas. The table on which we were supposed to lay out this agreement on is already a bygone venue for us. For that particular reason, we will pursue to perform the rights for us regardless of whether this chapter is upheld or not. Moreover, we have noticed that we are strengthened as much and as long as we do the right things for us.”