Turkey is trying to establish a central role for itself on the global energy strategy stage by making Anatolia a corridor for energy transportation with grand projects such as the Nabucco, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Samsun-Ceyhan pipelines, while Russia is developing alternative projects. Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, however, doesn't perceive these actions by the two countries as rival moves; rather, he defines Russia's South Stream project as complementary to the European Union and US-backed Nabucco, saying that a partnership with Russia is always a possibility.
The project, which was devised as a means to diversify gas supplies and reduce energy dependence on Russia, aims to deliver 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Central Asia and the Caspian region to Europe through a 3,300-kilometer pipeline from Turkey through Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary to Austria.
The minister also recalled a deal for a gas pipeline to bring gas from Egypt to Turkey through Iraq and Syria. “We are also planning to take this gas to Europe through Nabucco, and this is very important for the progress of Iraq’s economy and the stability of the region" he said.