Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is with great pleasure that the Atlantic Council launches this special issue with Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ) to explore Turkey’s energy sector prospects. I would like to thank TPQ for the opportunity to cooperate on and highlight this important topic.
The energy sector is one of the main locomotives of the Turkish economy with significant strategic implications. In 2010, the Atlantic Council began its work in Turkey through the Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit; an annual flagship event held in Istanbul. Since then we have been encouraging increased cooperation to tackle regional energy challenges, while supporting the opportunities.
Turkey is a country with few domestic fossil fuel resources of its own. It needs to ensure its supply security through diversification coupled with efforts to boost domestic production – including through renewable energy, an area in which Turkey is rich in potential. Meanwhile, Turkey is an ideal and growing market for producing countries and well positioned to capitalize on recent discoveries, such as natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as on global trends, such as the expansion of liquid natural gas.
Straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey’s strategic location between energy producing countries in the Middle East and Caspian regions and major consumers in Europe, offers it the potential to act as a bridge and contribute to European energy security. The first stage towards harnessing this potential was completed in June 2018 with the inauguration of the monumental Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) which is expected to soon connect with Europe. Beyond Turkey’s role as a transit country, Turkey also has the potential to develop into a natural gas hub by combining various sources of supply and adopting liberal institutional frameworks.
As fossil fuel prices continue their emergence out of cyclical lows and return to the spotlight, a renewed sense of focus is needed to capitalize on the opportunities through infrastructure, investment and diplomacy and ensure greater prosperity throughout the region. Therefore, I believe it is a timely and important moment to take stock of Turkey’s energy landscape and dynamics with this issue.
In 2018, the Atlantic Council launched the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY Program to increase our engagement with Turkey through our programming work and publications on a range of topics from energy to economics & business and security with a focus on issues of mutual interest and importance to the United States and Turkey. I am very proud to be including articles from both the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the United States Department of State in this special issue.
As director of the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY, I would also like to thank my colleagues at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and our team in Istanbul for their superb contributions and help in making this publication a success. Based in Washington D.C., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center promotes energy security by working alongside government, industry, civil society, and public stakeholders to devise pragmatic solutions to the geopolitical, sustainability, and economic challenges of the changing global energy landscape.
Finally, our work would not be possible without the support of our partners. Thank you for believing in our mission and us.