Turkey Fighting for Global Energy Security

cbaskaniGlobal energy security depends on the Middle East region getting rid of terrorists, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a high-level energy summit in Istanbul Monday. Speaking at the 23rd World Energy Congress, Erdogan said: “Security of the world’s energy supply depends on the [Middle East] region getting cleared of terrorists. “Therefore, we are fighting for our own security, the energy security of the world as well.”

Erdogan also said Turkey was going to build Europe’s fourth energy corridor. He highlighted the fact that Turkey had been a pioneer in several projects bringing energy resources to global markets.

“We have completed major pipeline projects connecting continents and we are going to build the fourth energy corridor for Europe,” he said.

He said Turkey provides the most viable route for distribution of eastern Mediterranean gas. “Turkey has a vision to ensure energy security,” Erdogan said.

He also emphasized that Turkey would take critical steps in the energy sector by the end of 2016 and 2017.

He noted that Turkey currently was largely dependent on other countries to meet its energy needs.

“In 40 years, Turkey grew more than its average growth and its energy needs increased by 8 percent per annum.

“We always aim to benefit from cutting-edge technologies. Turkey is not a supplier country and, therefore, our focus is transmission and consumption.”

He added: “Turkey’s energy demand is growing. We aim to get 30 percent energy from renewable [sources of energy] and 10 percent from nuclear in the coming years.”

He invited energy companies to invest in Turkey. “Therefore, we invite all energy companies to invest here. Those who trusted and invested in Turkey have never regretted it.”

– Call for peace in Middle East

Erdogan urged world leaders to join hands to bring peace and calm in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East. “Today in Aleppo, kids looking out on the horizon only see warplanes that bomb them. Let us make a child in Aleppo see hope when he looks up to the sky,” he said.

He noted that energy security requires one to fight against terrorism first.

“Our presence in Syria and Iraq is not discretionary, it is necessary,” he added.

– Africa’s energy needs

Erdogan also highlighted Africa’s dire energy needs at the conference in Istanbul.

“Access to energy is one of the biggest barriers to development targets in Africa. Some 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity and 600 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

“Today, Turkey’s approach to Africa is not driven by its natural resources but [due to the] humanitarian [needs there]. Our principle is to exploit opportunities with African people in the continent,” he added.

– Support for Turkey

The president talked about the July 15 coup attempt and thanked all countries who backed Turkey and supported democracy.

“Three months after the heinous terrorist act, you came to Istanbul for this congress. On this occasion, you support our nation, our country and our democracy. Personally, I would like to thank on behalf of my nation.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro are among world leaders attending the congress.