The developments in Iraq have the potential to fundamentally change the world energy landscape, providing new challenges and opportunities for Turkey, which is located at the crossroads of the oil and gas rich Caspian and Middle East regions and the supply centers of the West. Driven by dynamic (albeit instable) economic growth, fueled by a growing population and the liberalization of the 1980’s, Turkey surfaced as a major regional energy consumer during the late 1990’s.It is important to remember that Turkish officials were making plans to bring oil supplies to Western markets from Iraq twenty years before they had formulated such a position towards the Caspian. With the next big wave of exploration and investment activity in the Caspian expected to occur in the north (primarily in Kazakhstan) where Turkey is currently marginalized, it is essential that Turkey re-discover Iraq. In the post-Second Gulf War era, the rewards and stakes for Turkey in the energy future of Iraq are much greater.
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