Yildiz: Turkey is a major energy hub in the region

Dunya - With the Nabucco and South Stream projects, Turkey has become an important part of the solution to Europe's supply security problem in natural gas, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz told Al-Jazeera television. Yildiz said the recently signed energy agreements between Turkey and Russia have strengthened Turkey's geostrategic importance. As Europe's natural gas needs continually rise, Turkey can provide a secure energy supply to the continent through its participation in the Nabucco and South Stream projects, said Yildiz. Commenting on the recent developments in Iraq, Yildiz said the country had entered a stabilization and normalization process, helped by energy exports, citing the start of northern Iraqi oil exports through Turkey's Kirkuk Yumurtalik pipeline in June and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently expressing his country's readiness to be a supplier country under the Nabucco project. Yildiz also cited the Iraqi government's green light for the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to explore for oil in northern Iraq, adding that problems with this venture will be solved by Baghdad's ratification of a hydrocarbon law.