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Eu Energy Dependency Russia Affect Relations With Turkey Politics Essay

The end of the Cold War has led to the structural systemic changes in the world order, in which energy resources have become major sources of contention among states. It became the most important political tool and it does not only trigger many power struggles but also determines relationships between countries. Having sufficient energy supplies determine countries’ socio-economic status and give them an important say in world affairs. However the EU’s rise as an economic super power and recently as a military power in the world did not match with its energy policy. This insufficiency contravenes the Union’s plans in the long run and also leaves her behind the powers like Russia. Absence of a common European energy policy and more importantly having fairly limited energy resources are the major causes of this inadequacy. In addition, the reserves it possesses are mostly in naturally challenging zones which necessitates not only efficient equipment but also enormous amounts of investments and the fact that they are not sufficient enough to supply Europe’s energy demands. Consequently, Europe’s energy strategy shows a profound dependence on foreign suppliers like, especially on Russia. Moreover, this dependency enables Russia to acquire policy objectives that she would not obtain otherwise. While using this dependency as an important foreign policy tactic, Russia limits the EU’s freedom of action in certain global issues by threatening it cutting off the energy. Lately, because of Russians’ undiplomatic manners, Europe is compelled to look for other ways of supplying energy. Thus, the strategy of diversifying energy supplies is the EU’s counter tactic against Russian dependency. Consequently, in this new policy Turkey has a significant importance as an energy corridor and this makes possible EU expansion towards Turkey more acceptable. The fact that both the EU and Turkey are dependent on Russia and want to develop their own energy regime, compel them to cooperate.

The EU and Energy

Before analyzing Europe’s energy dependency and possible future energy plans, it is necessary to understand how Europe is powering itself today. Western and Central European reserves are generally undersea and not adequate for large-scale investment [1] . Therefore, other than small reserves in French Aqutaine and Paris basins and Polish Vienna basin, there are three main reserves, the European energy concentrates on; The North Sea Reserves, the Baltic reserves and the Adriatic reserves. In order to have a general idea about European gas and oil outlook, it is needful to take a general look to the histories and drawbacks of these basins. Thus, before starting, it is crucial to know that oil and natural gas reserves are naturally found together even though the reserves are referred to as oil reserves.

At first, the North Sea Reserves; they were first found when a natural gas reservoir was found in Dutch North Sea. However, because of the problems concerning the legality and ownership, there were no prominent activity took place till late 1960s. [2] Moreover with the discovery of the Ekofisk Gas Field by the Philips Petroleum, the fate of the North Sea Reserves turned and oil companies showed more interest in developing the field. [3] However, the astronomical cost of undersea exploitation prevents any short-term liabilities to this reserve. Finally, with the oil crisis in 1973, the European demand for energy reached its peak. The fact that Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries declared that they will not be shipping oil and petroleum to the nations that support Israel for the cause of ongoing Yom Kippur War, forced Europe to take North Sea into account seriously again. As a result, in the later years, bigger fields were discovered in the area, the biggest of which is the Troll Field in Norway and the reverse has been active ever since. Additionally, today the North Sea is one of the world’s most important oil field with its approximately 500 platforms. However, because of the Hubert’s peak oil theory which aims to reduce oil, these fields were haunted too and production in the fields has been continuously decreased [4] . Theory explains that before the oil in the fields vanishes, production of it slows down, so this slow down is the antecedent for future trouble. Thus, many oil companies such as British petroleum stopped their extraction in the area.

Secondly, Baltic Sea Basin is another significant region with its oil, however due to the fact that these reserves are oil shale reserves which are found in geographically challenging zones, extracting them necessitates not only great patient and time but also large amount of investment. Oil shales are rocks which are composed of high level of kerogen, a compound that can be converted into petroleum. [5] Nevertheless, they have great importance due to the fact that they can be utilized in European energy market. On the other hand, there are great amounts of oil shales and crude oil in the Italian reserves in Adriatic and the Caltanisetta reserves in Sicily and thus, together with the Baltic Sea reserves they are thought to be about 11 billion tones of oil shales and crude oil. [6] Moreover, France, Sweden and The United Kingdom are too thought to have considerable oil shales [7] . Despite of the fact that many European countries possesses these valuable rocks, as it is mentioned above they are found in challenging zone and geographical limitations necessitate special equipment and accordingly higher cost which means higher prices in return. Also investors face with the same problem in the Adriatic reserves and consequently, these obstacles them and push them to find other alternatives.

No European Energy policy

Another important factor that prevents Europe from acting as a decisive player in energy policy is the fact that there is no common European energy policy. Each state has different priorities and energy plans and thus, they are reluctant to transfer sovereignty to the Union on energy matters. What is striking here is that “Energy policy is, after all, still regarded primarily as a matter of national interest, with European interest coming second and accordingly this is why it is almost impossible to get all the European Union’s member states to agree in this area” [8] . Moreover, the absence of common voice makes the EU more vulnerable to Russia because, while the EU is trying to find other alternatives in order to reduce its dependence on Russia, the attempts of some member states making individual agreements with Russia like Italy, not only undermines the Union’s plans but also damages its prestige as a union. Consequently, “every member state pursuing its own energy policy only decreases overall EU security and limits the EU’s foreign policy options...” [9] Basically, disunity allows Russia heighten European dependence because “...it follows a policy of divide and rule towards Europe” [10] and with the help of this policy it is easier to deal with individual countries and impose upon them than union as a whole.

Dependency on Russian Energy and Its Drawbacks for the EU

As has been brought forward by Zeyno Baran, today “...Russian power is no longer measured in the ballistic missile accuracy or bomber but in miles of pipeline constructed and barrels of oil per day exported” [11] . For years Europe had fought against Russia and even though today their relations are smoother, traces of the past has not removed yet. Russian threat was so strong that it had an important impact on the Union’s formation. Its presence in Eastern Europe had not only shaped European policy agenda but also enabled the creation of European Security system. Years passed, however Russian threat still remains as one of the most important obstacle for the development of the EU. More disturbing, this time it is different because now the EU is dependent on Russia and this dependency limits its freedom of action.

Regardless of its bad human right records and aggressive expansionist past, ample energy resources enables Russia to have a great say in world affairs. Today, many countries, as well as the EU are dependent on Russia. The EU relies on Russia for more than 30 percent of its oil imports and 50 percent of its natural gas import and this number has been growing since 2006. [12] Energy dependency on Russia profoundly impacts Europe’s policy on many subjects from EU expansion to foreign relations with third parties. This time Russia has important weapon, “energy” and it is withstand her because what she has is vital for the Europe.

Since Russia is the Europe’s largest supplier of oil and gas and many people as well as leaders in Europe fear of a sudden energy cutoff. It is one of the most well-known tactics of Russia to order Gazprom, the largest oil company which is under the control of Russia, to shut off the energy, especially during a political dispute. The July 2006 shutdown of the Lithuanian and Ukrainian pipelines are most recent examples. Especially in Ukrainian case, even though it was reflected as if it was a pricing disagreement that triggered the dispute, many experts have argued that the Ukrainian crisis has a political cause, aimed at disciplining Ukraine for its pro-Western leanings and pressurizing the pro-Western party of Viktor Yushchenko, who won against pro-Russians in the last elections. Yet, this dispute had terrifying effects on European Nations due to decrease in supply between 5%-40%. [13] Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, France and Croatia were among nations who had suffered the most about a one-thirds decrease in their oil supply and even the United Kingdom had expressed its concerns about a potential decrease in its oil supply due to the crisis. [14] 

Up to now Gazprom is the Russia’s largest organization which extracts the most natural gas in the world today. “It is the largest or the second largest shareholder in the gas utilities of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and recently has been expanding its influence even further into the domestic gas distribution networks of Western Europe...” [15] in countries like Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy. Thus, this enables it to use European companies against each other in order to secure Russian monopoly. However, there are many speculations about Gazprom today, besides being under the total control of Russian government; the company is definitely not transparent and therefore not credible. Its majority is state owned and majority “...of the company’s executive management and board members also occupy or previously occupied key positions within the Kremlin” [16] . For instance, the previous prime minister of the Russia, Viktor Zubkov, is now president of the Gazprom. To sum up, the organization mostly serves for the interest of Russia. Moreover, Gazprom also represent the unethical trade characteristic of Russia due to the fact that it is a threat to competition in the gas market in Europe and because it is a monopoly supplier and it manipulates gas prices to its advantage. [17] Also some might claim that its pricing policy is also politically driven because of the fact that “...different countries pay different prices... and more importantly ...the price of gas on the international Russian market is lower than world market prices” [18] .

Effects of Russian dependency

Consequently instead of creating energy fear for individual countries, dependency on Russia limits and affects the EU’s foreign policy as a responsible power in global affairs. Russia openly expresses her claim and expects the individual member countries and as well as the EU to side with her in international disputes. Accordingly, there are cases in which the EU follows a passive foreign policy because of this. For instance, it failed to stand up for Georgia in 2008 during the arm conflict with Russia. Reliance on Russian energy, limits its criticism of Moscow and more importantly “...dependence on Russian energy supplies undermines Europe’s efforts to foster the ideals of good governance and democracy both in Russia and in Russia’s neighbors” [19] . Yet the issue is that seeing former Soviet states uniting under the roof of the EU; triggers her ambition on energy more. She keeps playing the energy card over European states to obtain privileges and does not hide this. For instance Russian famous oil company LUKOIL’ s president Vagit Alekperov, when he was asked in an interview, emphasized Bulgarian dependency on Russian oil and claimed that because of this dependency Bulgaria will never conduct an anti-Russian foreign policy in the future. [20] Bulgaria is not the only one though, Scandinavian countries, especially Finland, Baltic countries, as well as candidate Ukraine and Turkey rely on Russia. Besides, Central European countries are also dangerously dependent on oil from Russian pipelines. For instance, Germany has been receiving 41% of its oil imports from Russia. [21] Moreover, many of the pipelines that go to central Europe transit either through Baltic countries or Ukraine.

Moreover this reliance affects the EU’s enlargement policy as well and compels it to take careful steps in Balkans. Russian insistence on Balkan area has not diminished yet and the fact that former Soviet states of Central and Eastern Europe are now under the influence of the EU, Russia is now tighter on Balkan countries than any time before. In 2004, 9 former Soviet Central and Eastern European Countries became member of the Union and this doubled Russian fear. The suspicion of alienation in the region and loosing its last sphere of influences in Europe with the Balkans, forces Russia to pressure the EU. Though, on the EU side, looking at the statements of Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, “European Unification is incomplete without the Balkans” [22] , it is a well-known fact than sooner or later Balkan states will join the EU too. However, the fact that being too aggressive in the Balkan expansion would infuriate Russia and jeopardize Europe’s energy supplies while being too passive would alienate Balkan countries and push them back under Russian grip, creates ambiguity in the process. Thus, Europe becomes compelled to be stuck between its interests and those of Russians, all because of its extensive dependency on Russian oil and gas.  Europe’s failing expansion efforts in the Balkans perfectly reflect how Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas alters Europe’s foreign policy and future. Though for the EU enlargements does not mean to increase the number of the member states but also secure the neighbourhood by adding them to the family. Correspondingly, security policy of the Union suffers from this dependency as well.

Why Turkey is an essential partner for the EU’s energy policy?

The reasons listed above indicate that, the EU should reduce and even end the energy dependency on Russia; otherwise it will ruin its own chance to become a real world power. Since energy is one of the most important determinants of becoming an important world power, the EU policies should be designed to overcome its energy concerns. It is definite that with the fear of Russian cutting off the energy at any sudden time, the EU can not rely on Russia any longer but need to develop its own energy regime. Energy security is the subject which necessitates more focus in the EU agenda today. Consequently, diversification of energy supply and alternative resources should be the new focus policy to consider energy security. Thus, diversified energy types and sources are important measure to help improve energy security and reduce the need for imports of fuels. [23] On the other hand, in the issue of energy security, ‘distribution of resources’, ‘who owns what’ and ‘who can transfer energy without passing through Russia’ are the questions, the EU should deal in order to solve this energy problem.

Apparently there are many other options to import gas for Europe other than Turkey, like Caribbean and Africa however in the long term, it was certain that Turkey would provide better outcomes because of its historical close ties with the west against the SU and the idea that she would spread pro-western ideas among Caspian nations which would make agreement easier with them .Consequently what brings Turkey and the EU together in energy policy is the same threat perception, “Russia”. They fear from the same thing, any sudden Russian cutoff and political pressure which probably have negative consequences for their welfare. Specifically, just like the EU, Turkey also wants to diversify its own energy sources and accordingly their interests converge.

Paralleling with this, they are both having dilemma between their freedom of action and dependency on Russia. However they both aim to minimize future risks of this dependency by relying on each other. Turkey counts on Europe against Russia because it is economically and politically influential enough to back up Turkey. Where as the EU supports Turkey because Turkey has an important strategic location and thus, enables the EU to develop its own energy security without any fear both in Caspian region and in Middle east. Nevertheless “...Turkey is a geographically located close to 71.8 percent of the world’s proven gas and 72.7 percent of oil reserves, considering its proximity to the Middle East and the Caspian Basin” [24] . Moreover the EU needs Turkey because Turkey is in a position to do whatever necessary to help Europe to develop its own energy policy in order to pursue membership. She is following a pro-western energy policy because “... through building a westward flow of gas from the Caspian and the Middle East, Turkey’s goal is to become Europe’s fourth main artery which Turkey believes will help it to realize its main foreign policy aim; that’s becoming a full member of the EU” [25] . Thus, Turkey has gone through a deep modernization process since the Republic established. She does not just want to get closer with western states politically and economically or adopt their values but it also wants to be part of it. Turkey considers this unification as an important goal for its future, especially because of the economical gains.

Turkey became a member of almost all western organizations such as OECD, Council of Europe and NATO, except the EU. They have a problematic relationship from starting in 1959 till today 2009. Turkey is still in the waiting list of the EU as the longest standing candidate country with its so many unresolved conflicts such as democracy and insufficient economy and trying to find a way to prioritize her position in the process of membership. Lately, she perceives the role of being energy corridor as a way of achieving membership. Thus, guarantees certain privileges to the EU in the energy policy like she did in the Cold-War. She proved its loyalty to the west during the cold war, allied with the west and now she is ready to take part in the west camp for both its own energy security and to be admitted by European countries as a faithful ally.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, contrary to expectations, Turkey’s strategic importance has increased in the eyes of the EU. Turkey has come to a position being a natural transit route between energy importing countries and suppliers in Caucasus with multiple pipelines that are bypassing Russia and breaking its monopoly over the Caucasus transit route. This is the situation, supported by the EU. However, for Turkey, playing role of an energy corridor has become difficult, since Russia does not led Turkey playing key role easily. Moreover Turkey also imports natural gas and oil form Russia with the Blue Stream Pipeline since 1997. Specifically, Turkey is an energy importing country, dependent on Russian gas and does not want to lose its largest trading partner. However, she also does not want to lose its most favored nation status in the eyes of the EU either and what is more, she believes that this will open the ways for the membership.

Paralleling with this idea, Europe has lately been seeking a new regime of energy cooperation with Turkey and has been looking to diversify its energy supply by giving more importance to the security of current supply routes. Currently, Europe is using four major pipelines. First one is Druzhba, it is the longest one which extends from Southeast Russia to Ukraine, Hungary, Poland and Baltic states. Second one is the Baltic Pipeline which carries Russian oil to Finland and the Baltic States. Third one is the Yamal-European Pipeline which carries again Russian oil to Germany and finally the last one is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline which carries Azerbaijani oil to Europe through Georgia and Turkey, bypassing Russia. Thus, except the last one, the BTC, all other routes are Russian controlled routes and this increases strategic significance of the BTC and as well as the Turkey.(Appendix II: BTC pipeline map)

On the other hand the fact that instability and conflict remain in the Persian Gulf region, energy consuming countries are more interested in oil and gas in the Caspian basin. For the EU, “ The Caspian Sea can also be a rapidly growing area of supply” [26] because, “...proven oil reserves especially in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are about 20 billion barrels … and they are expected to increase” [27] . Caspian basin oil and gas reserves present the EU with a trust to reduce significantly European dependency on the Russia.

In the Post-Cold war era “Turkey is becoming an increasingly important player on the oil and gas transit market” [28] . Also the EU has come to see Turkey a more capable actor and a strategic ally because of its energy concerns and the fact that Turkey, as well, wants to be saved from Russian threat in the energy sector, creates mutual interest between the EU and the Turkey. Thus, Turkey has a key role in BTC, BTE and the Nabucco projects and these projects have high importance for the EU. In this context, “...the EU should ensure that the bulk of Caspian gas reaches its markets, not through Russia, but through alternative corridors such as Turkey...” [29] . Moreover the EU’s interest in the pipeline projects in the Caspian basin does not only have financial cause but also political one. The main intention of the EU is to break the Russian control over the Eurasian energy supplies. Therefore, all the pipeline projects, by passing Russia or free from Russian pressure are welcomed by the EU.

Turkey: Dependency on Russia

It has been difficult for Ankara to act independently in the transit sector and acting as a bridge because, Turkey is also dependent “...on Russia for over three fifths of its own gas consumption” [30] . More specifically, Turkey is also importing oil and natural gas and in this sense dependent on natural gas coming from Russia with the joint Russo-Italian-Turkish ‘Blue Stream’ project since 1997. Additionally, in 1998, another natural gas purchase contract Turusgaz “... was signed for 6.6 billion cubic meter... with Russia. The Consumption of natural gas, reached approximately 34.8 billion cubic meters in 2007” [31] . In the late 1990’s, when there were plans about constructing natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Europe through Turkey, “... Moscow moved fast to construct its own Blue Stream gas pipeline under the Black Sea into Turkey...” [32] Correspondingly by doing that, she constrained Turkey’s ability to act independently in the Caspian basin.

With the end of the Cold war and the dissolution of Soviet Union, the Russian-Turkish relationship has changed and “today, Russia is Turkey’s largest trading partner and with trade between the two countries expected to reach $38 billion this year” [33] . Moreover, Russia is supplying almost “...half of Turkey’s crude oil and 65 percent of its natural gas in order to heat Turkish homes...” [34] . Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan recently declared that “The EU is our ally and the Russian Federation is an important neighbor... Russia is our number one trade partner. We are obtaining two-thirds of our energy from Russia... We would be left in dark without her...” [35] . Turkey in the late 1990’s has come to a position that the lack of diverse access to energy has become clear threat to Turkey. Ankara does not want to experience the misfortune of Russian supply cuts or the half of deliveries. However, on the other side, being a member of the EU and having good relations with the west is one of the most important policy goals of the government. Therefore Turkey is facing a dilemma when it is playing the energy bridge role because the fact that Ankara wants to act independently from Russia in the Caucasus and develop its own energy policy in connection with that of the EU, complicates relations with Russia and makes Turkey a potential enemy of Russia. The impact to Turkey’s dependency to Russian oil and gas is that being dependent on Russia for keeping the factories running and cities alive coerces Turkey into Russian policy and forces it to seriously calculate its every step with the fear of Russian response.

As Ankara continues to be an active actor in Caspian basin, Russia has carefully moved to limit Turkey’s influence over the energy policies in the region. Russia with the Italian company Eni, “...plans to extend Blue Stream from Turkey to Southern Europe” [36] . With the help of this move, Moscow is targeting to make Turkey more dependent on its gas and oil. Moreover, the south Stream Pipeline project, from Burgas to Alexandropoulosi is also under active consideration of Russia. “Russians demanded a controlling interest and tax privileges for Russian companies before it signed an agreement with Greece and Bulgaria...” [37] The south Stream Pipeline project has come to be a direct rival to BTC and also bypass Turkey. What is more, the Burgas-Alexandroupoli project is also targeting to “...reduce dependence on Turkish Straits, through which Russian tankers carry commodities to southern Europe” [38] . These developments are the maneuvers of Russia making it unlikely that “...Turkey will able to carry out its plan to extend a recently completed pipeline from Greece to Germany by 2011” [39] . By this way Russia intents to prevent Turkey becoming an increasingly “...important player on the oil transit market and ... taking the advantage of its geographic location by raising transit tariffs” [40] . Correspondingly, with all these challenges, Russia is planning prove that Moscow’s policies do not led Turkey easily to conduct the strategy of making use of its geo-strategic position becoming an energy bridge between the Caspian basin and the west. “To sum up the announcement of South stream is the latest and potentially most devastating of Moscow’s efforts to block the construction of Nabucco...” [41] and it is Putin’s latest anti-Nabucco campaign.

Alternatives that foster cooperation between the EU and Turkey

Primarily, Baku-Ceyhan-Tblisi pipeline deserves a special attention. It is “...breaking Russia’s current monopoly on the flow of Caspian energy and facilitating future deliveries to the EU states” [42] . The pipeline was established as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union in order to avoid any possible uncertainty. US spent so much effort for the formation of this pipeline because she also regarded it as an alternative to Russian monopoly and for the west-east energy corridor. Therefore, EU has given greater attention to both the BTC and the BTE (Baku - Tblisi - Erzurum) pipelines. “The Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline stretches from Baku all the way to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan and the BTE follows the same route as BTC but terminates in the central Turkish city of Erzurum.” [43] As I mentioned above The US mostly took care of these routes, and apparently now it is the EU’s turn to take the lead if it really wants to have a right to say in energy politics. Thus, “the European market is large enough to attract Central Asian gas and to prevent the gradual reorientation of the region to Russia...” [44] if sufficient attention is given to these projects.

The BTC and the BTE came into operation in 2006 became a hope for many countries who takes part in it, such as Georgia, Azerbaijani, Turkey, the US and the EU. Turkey benefits from it as well when we consider the thing that this route does not only strengthen its strategic importance as a global player in world affairs but foster economic growth in Turkey’s impoverished Southeastern regions. More importantly it made Turkey as a potential rival in the eyes of Russia while restoring the relations with the EU.

Additionally, as against Russian maneuvers to constraint Turkey’s ability to act in the Caspian basin free from Russian monopoly, Ankara is trying to diverse its energy routes by constructing new pipelines. Nabucco pipeline project, which construction of it was expected to start in 2009 but was delayed to 2011 today. The project has two phases and the second phase will be activated in 2017 after the activation of the first phase in 2012. It transports natural gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary is under active consideration of Turkey and “...approximately 3,300 km long...” [45] It is strongly supported by the EU too since it also does not consider Russia as a reliable supplier. This pipeline project is mainly bypassing Russia and it is also an opportunity for Europeans becoming less dependent on Russian gas. Therefore, the Nabucco pipeline, brings has from Central Asia to Austria through Turkey, is seen by the EU as a vital project for providing Europe with an alternative source of gas supplies” [46] .(for Nabucco map see: APPENDIX I) Moreover the project will not only contribute to the security supply for all partner countries, and also for Europe as a whole but also provide a new gas supply corridor for Europe and for the countries involved in the project, for very cost-effective gas sources and raise the transit role of the participating countries along the route. [47] By that way countries will not only escape from unfair Russian pricing but also from its political pressure.

Even though, Russia, on the other side, is trying to undercut Nabucco with its own initiatives by promoting new pipeline projects like Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, Transporting natural gas from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to central Europe, Nabucco is the key project for the future of Turkey –EU relations. The project is competing with the Russian led projects and that’s why it is seen as a maneuver of the Turkey to block the Russian monopoly.

Furthermore, Turkey can also play an active role in Europe’s diversification of its energy sources by allowing European Union to reach suppliers which were previously out of reach. As a Muslim country, Turkey has close relations with North Africa and Middle East. Turkey’s relations with these countries may bring these two poles together and that would have a major impact on reducing Russia’s energy hegemony on Europe. Turkey is conducting agreements with different potential gas suppliers in the Middle East. From this Middle East suppliers Iran can be seen as the most important one for Turkey since Iran is planning to build a gas route via Turkey to the EU even though she is not officially declared it. However, if this plan takes place, it will strengthen geographical importance of Turkey for the EU as a long-term partner for Middle Eastern oil supplies. After the discussions, Turkey and Iran signed an agreement in 2007 which will enable Iran to export its supplies to Europe via Turkey. So, for the EU, cooperation with Turkey is necessary in order to get Middle East oil to European countries where Turkey will play a key role as a bridge between EU and Middle East.

Moreover, Egypt is another important potential gas supplier and Turkey is trying to transport Egyptian gas to its territory. Ministers from Egypt and Turkey signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2006 to transport 4bcm of Egyptian gas to Turkey. [48] This project also aims to transport an additional 8-10 bcm to Europe via Turkey. On the other hand Iraq is also preparing to make more oil shipments via Turkey to the Europe. To sum up, having Turkey as a member in the EU will enable European countries to have access to Middle East energy supplies easily.

Conclusion

In the modern world, energy is the determinant of economic power. Thus, if Europe wants to become a superpower, it should be able to have its own energy without any dependency to a specific rival like Russia. Turkey will be a key country for avoiding dependency on Russia because the EU can access to Middle East and Caspian energy supplies via Turkey. Thus, their relations are better than ever since they share the mutual interest. So, cooperation with Turkey will strengthen EU’s economical and political influence on global world. The membership status of Turkey should be considered positively by the EU countries because of its contribution to the energy policy of the EU. Continued dependence on countries like Russia would place Europe under significant pressure and possibly limits Europe to being an important player in the global power plays. Therefore, rapidly creating a self-sufficient energy system is a paramount value for Europe, not for fulfilling its immediate needs but also for realizing its centennial dreams. The alternative routes of energy sources that the EU establishes with other nations like Turkey, which can be seen as important ally will decrease the dependency on Russia of the EU and enable the EU to develop its own energy regime. In the light of this mutual interest, I believe, Turkey achieved its goal and established better relations with the EU and considering the long-term effects of their partnerships, membership of Turkey is not a dream any more but a reality.

APPENDICES

Appendix I: Nabucco, South Stream, North Stream

Appendix II: BTC – Baku, Tbilisi Ceyhan Pipeline

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