Bagis: "Turkey's geography has historically been a crossroads. We can play the same role in the Energy field"
Egemen Bagis, J&D Party MP for Istanbul and Foreign Policy Advisor of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, underlining the geography of Turkey has historically been a meeting and crossing point of various religions and cultures, said "We can do the same in the Energy field"
Bagis spoke at the Brussels Forum in a session entitled "Do we need a Transatlantic Energy Security Policy?" organized by the US based German Marshall Fund (GMF) sponsored by Daimler Chrysler, Bertelsmann, Monitor Group and the government of Belgium.
Pointing out that Turkey does not grow coffee, but by the style of brewing, is internationally known by the brand of "Turkish Coffee", Bagis continued by saying "We are not producers of Energy either. But if you look at our location, you'll see that the only way to transport the petroleum or natural gas from northern Iraq or Russia and the Caucuses or Iran, is through Turkey. By the pipelines that have either been completed or under construction, we are becoming the Energy corridor of Europe."
Mentioning that Turkey is neighbored by countries that count for three fourths of the global petroleum and natural gas reserves, Bagis stated "EU membership of Turkey has importance for the unions Energy security issues for the future. Bagis mentioned that the Turkey-Greece natural gas pipeline that will transport the natural gas extracted from the Caspianto Europe is "an energy and peace project".
In order to prevent the rising energy prices and monopolization, Bagis stressed that more countries need to join the global market and further, with the ever-rising consumption levels, countries like Canada, Nigeria, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are needed in the market.
Asked whether or not Turkey would turn its face to the East if it can't get what it wants from Europe, Bagis responded: "In the worst times of our history we were named the ‘Sick man of Europe' not of Asia. Abandoning our goal to join the EU is out of question. We shall bring dynamism to the EU with our young population."
Andris Pielbags, EU Commissioner for Energy, Peter McKay, Minister of Foreign Affairsof Canada, Radek Sikorski, Polish Defense Minister, James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and Robert West, Chairman of PFC Energy were among the speakers along with Mr. Bagis at the session headed "Do we need a Transatlantic Energy Security Policy" of the Brussels Forum.
Excerpts: Anadolu Agency, 01/05/2006