Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yıldız speaking at the International Mediterranean Energy Conference hosted by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce on Monday, has said that Turkey’s stance towards the northern and southern regions of Iraq also applies to Cyprus, and that all parties will benefit if the island as a whole can make use of its resources, Turkish daily ‘Sabah’ reports. Yıldız met with his Greek counterpart Yannis Maniatis to discuss ways to ensure that resources found are utilised by the entire island.
Noting the importance of considering the human factor of new projects, Yıldız said: “Unfortunately, comfort is growing faster than money in the world”. He added that crude oil and natural gas are currently used as excuses for wars when they are underground and a reason for peace when they are above ground. “Turkey has always used energy as a means to establish peace, and the energy policy created and strategy applied will not only aim to establish the security of the natural gas supply of the European Union, but all of Turkey’s neighbours”, Yıldız said.
“Once the required political feasibility is achieved in the Mediterranean basin, Turkey will also demonstrate the necessary efforts to establish economic feasibility. And provided that the current status of Cyprus is considered, Turkey is open to any pipelines that will cross through the country and be distributed fairly”, Yildiz stated and added: “Turkey has never exploited the advantages it has due to its geographic location in any project, and has always believed that the global energy sector should be used for building peace”.
In response to the question whether Turkey will straddle the gap between Russia and the EU regarding sanctions, Yıldız said: “Turkey is developing its projects by observing its national interests, as well as those of Russia and the EU. Turkey is striving to increase its exports in agriculture and Russia is not a trivial country for us in this regard. Therefore, I do not believe that Turkey will be pushed to choose between Russia and the EU. Turkey has the capability to develop projects with both entities. I do not believe that the nuclear power plant [being constructed by Russia in Turkey] will suffer setbacks either”.