Turkey

Turkey to reduce dependence on foreign energy: Erdogan

Turkey aims to maximize domestic resource utilization in energy, says president

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 16.02.2019
Turkey to reduce dependence on foreign energy: Erdogan President of Turkey and the leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses nation during campaign rally for local March 31 elections in northwestern Edirne province, Turkey on February 16, 2019.

By Etem Geylan and Berin Alpaslan Gokce

EDIRNE, Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey aims to reduce its dependence on foreign energy sources.

Speaking at a campaign rally for local March 31 elections in northwestern Edirne province, Erdogan said that Turkey aims to maximize domestic resource utilization in energy.

"In 2017, our electricity generation from domestic sources was 45 percent. Now, it has reached 60 percent," Erdogan said.

He also recalled that Turkey discovered new gas fields in Thrace with a reserve of 3 billion cubic meters that will double the country's current natural gas production.

"The production is enough to meet the consumption of 300,000 households for 10 years," he added.

Turkey has limited domestic energy resources and mainly depends on expensive energy imports for its consumption, which constitutes the biggest share of the current account deficit. The country strives to discover new oil and natural gas sources, and also heavily invests in renewable energy and domestic coal.

Meeting Greek PM

Erdogan also referred to his recent meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

He said Tsipras complained to him that the Greek opposition is criticizing him, however, Erdogan said they are politicians and should feel confident.

"You cannot even tolerate a Turkish name in Western Thrace," Erdogan said, referring to the Greek region with a Turkish minority.

Greece had closed several associations in Western Thrace because they had the word "Turkish" in their names.

Although the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) convicted Greece on this matter, Greece does not implement the ECHR verdict on the issue.

Greece refuses to recognize that there is a Turkish minority in Greece and recognizes it only with its religious denomination, as a Muslim minority.

Western Thrace region of Greece is home to a Muslim Turkish minority of around 150,000 people. 

Erdogan said in Turkey, during Justice and Development (AK) Party rule, religious minorities like the Rums (Greek Orthodox Christians), Armenians and the Jews enjoy their rights in "most extensive" form.

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