Speaking at the 23rd World Energy Congress, President Erdoğan said: “Turkey has significant investment potential in all areas of energy. Therefore, we invite all energy companies to invest in our country. Those who trusted and invested in Turkey have never regretted it."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accompanied by First Lady Emine Erdoğan, attended the opening session of the 23rd World Energy Congress (WEC) held at Istanbul Congress Center under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey and hosted by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.
President Erdoğan delivered a speech at the opening session of the WEC, where President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, President Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela, President Mustafa Akıncı of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım as well as representatives from 82 countries, executives of international organizations and leading global actors in energy were present.
“SHARE FOR PEACE!”
Voicing his pleasure over hosting the congress, President Erdoğan said that they aim to convey the message “Share for Peace” to all humanity at the WEC, which is also described as “World Energy Olympics”.
Stating that their goal is to transform the congress into a platform for exchanging ideas about vision and scenarios for the future of energy and to turn energy into an instrument for peace and justice, President Erdoğan said: “The issue of access to energy in Africa, which we bring up at every chance on international platforms, will surely be one of the main topics of the congress.”
“TURKEY’S APPROACH TO AFRICA IS NOT BASED ON SELF-INTEREST”
Recalling that they discussed this issue in detail at the World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul last May, President Erdoğan said: “Turkey views the problems in Africa differently than most of the other countries that have an interest in this geography. First of all, I would like to underline that our country and nation do not have the shame of colonialism in their history. Our country’s approach to Africa is based neither on natural resources nor on human resources or on any other self-interest. We, above all else, seek to revitalize our historical, strong ties with Central and North Africa based on humanitarian values. In addition to that, we endeavor to embrace all Africa as a manifestation of our understanding which aims to lend a helping hand to all the oppressed in the world. We conduct all our work in this geography in line with the principle of ‘utilizing the opportunities in Africa with Africans’.”
G20 ENERGY ACCESS ACTION PLAN
Stating that people in Africa expect from the world not impositions put forward due to ulterior motives but “African solutions to African problems”, President Erdoğan said Turkey, during its term presidency in 2015, made “inclusiveness” one of the main goals of the G20 along with “robust, sustainable and balanced growth” in this understanding.
“Without resolving the problem of energy, it is not possible to talk about development, investment, growth, health, nourishment and heating,” President Erdoğan underscored and said: “Some 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity and 600 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. While the north of the world live in wealth and prosperity, the south have trouble meeting even their basic needs. Due to the urgency of the situation in the region, we have focused our efforts on there. Another work approved at leaders’ level during our term presidency was G20 Energy Access Action Plan. I believe this plan will help better coordinate already-existing efforts for access to energy.”
“TURKEY’S ENERGY DEMAND INCREASES BY 6-8 PERCENT PER ANNUM”
Noting that Turkey is largely dependent on outside resources to meet its energy needs, President Erdoğan said Turkey’s growth rate, especially in the last 14 years, has been above world average and Turkey’s energy demand has increased by 6-8 percent per annum. The President added Turkey works to ensure its energy security and to diversify its energy supplies.
Drawing attention to Turkey’s location, which is right next to the Middle East and the Caucasia that have nearly two thirds of the proven natural gas resources in the world, President Erdoğan said: “We have pioneered several critical projects bringing energy resources in these regions to global markets,” listing the Blue Stream Natural Gas Pipeline, Iran- Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Natural Gas Pipeline, Turkey-Greece Interconnector Project, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline.
“TURKEY IS THE MOST VIABLE AND ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR NATURAL GAS”
Stating that Turkey and Azerbaijan are building the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), President Erdoğan said: “Azeri gas will reach European markets as well as Turkey via TANAP and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. We are also exerting intensive efforts so that Turkmen gas will be a part of this project. We view positively the Turkish Stream Project which will carry the natural gas, we buy from Russia through the Balkans, directly to Turkey under the Black Sea. The second phase of this project will be developed depending on the developments in European natural gas markets. On the other hand, the eastern Mediterranean gas is becoming a new alternative for our supply diversification efforts. Researches show that Turkey is the most viable and economic route for this gas.”
“We are on the eve of new and important investments in turning Turkey into a natural gas and energy trade center. By the end of this year and in 2017, we will have taken critical steps and made great investments in this area,” President Erdoğan declared and he said: “By doing so, we will be one step closer to our goal of becoming a reliable partner for all countries in our region in natural gas trade. There are three dimensions of natural gas: supply, transportation and consumption. We are not a supplier country. We are a consumer and transporter country. By integrating this characteristic of our country with pipeline technology, we are pairing it up with supply. We are also contributing to Europe’s security of natural gas supply. Within this framework, we aim to open the fourth natural gas corridor into Europe after the Russian Federation Algeria and Norway. After the TANAP Project is realized, a new alternative will emerge to Europe’s natural gas supply. The first concrete step of this project was taken with the Turkey-Greece Interconnector Project and we believe this project is also important to Europe.”
THIRD NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PROJECT
Highlighting nuclear energy as an area of importance, President Erdoğan recalled that Turkey and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in 2010 and that Turkey and Japan made an agreement on Sinop Nuclear Power Plant Project on the shores of the Black Sea. The President said Turkey currently seeks to realize a third nuclear power plant project.
Stating that Turkey aims to produce nearly 10 percent of total electricity from nuclear power, President Erdoğan said: “Turkey has a geopolitical advantage in terms of renewable energy. We continue our work to increase the share of solar, wind and hydraulic resources in our energy production up to 30%. As you can see, Turkey has significant investment potential in all areas of energy. Therefore, we invite all energy companies to invest in our country. Those who trust and invest in Turkey never have and never will regret it."
“ENERGY INVESTMENTS WILL HAVE POSITIVE IMPACTS ON THE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT, AS WELL”
Stressing the possible negative impacts of recently dropping oil prices on energy investments, President Erdoğan warned that gas prices might also follow the same trend and added that today’s postponed investment decisions are certain to affect adversely the energy security in the future.
Underlining the necessity of a closer coordination and cooperation so as to prevent this, President Erdoğan continued: “Close cooperation between the public sector and private sector is essential to meet the financing need of global infrastructure investments, including the energy. I believe we can combine private sector’s dynamism with the public investment needs within the framework of an efficient cooperation. Reaching the desired numbers in energy investments will have very positive impacts on the global development, as well. We should always keep in mind that all of these projects and investments should be launched within the understanding of a sustainable development. In this regard, we witnessed historic developments last year. In September 2015, we adopted in New York the 2030 Agenda, and in December, signed the Paris Climate Agreement. This international basis provides new opportunities in the fight against climate change, which is a global challenge.”
President Erdoğan, underscoring that the possession of rich hydrocarbon sources doesn’t always bring about richness, peace and a safe future on its own, said: “We see many manifestations of this fact in the Middle East, North and West Africa and South America. In these regions, there are large crowds of communities who have serious difficulties accessing even the basic humanitarian needs, energy being in the first place. Our neighboring geography Middle East, in particular, harbors very striking examples in this regard.”
“LET’S JOIN FORCES TO BRING PEACE TO THE MIDDLE EAST”
President Erdoğan added: “Distinguished heads of state, distinguished guests coming from all across the world, I am calling on you! Let’s join forces to bring peace to Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East. When a little kid in Aleppo looks at the sky, s/he should be filled with hope. Whereas, when children look at the sky in Aleppo, they only see helicopter bombs targeting themselves. A children in Mosul looking at the sky should be able to dream freely. However, children looking at the sky in Mosul today can only see the DAESH oppression and the threat of sectarianism they are to face after DAESH. Therefore, we say that let’s work together to put an end to conflicts in Syria and for humanitarian aids to reach those in need without any restriction. As the theme of our congress expresses, let’s make the best use of our means and embrace new horizons together.”
Stressing that their call to the world for peace, justice, stability and security are by no means rhetorical and insincere, President Erdoğan stated: “Vice versa, we are a country that lived and experienced every value we defend by paying the heaviest price. While this price sometimes remains limited to financial problems as in economic crises, other times it might also be paid with blood as we lived on July 15.”
“I THANK THOSE WHO HAVE COME TO ISTANBUL ON THE OCCASION OF THIS CONGRESS AND THUS GIVEN SUPPORT TO OUR DEMOCRACY”
Recalling that a group of terrorists from the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) that had infiltrated the Turkish Armed Forces attempted a coup attempt about three months ago, targeting the nation, democracy and Turkey’s freedom, President Erdoğan said: “The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), the Presidential Complex, buildings belonging to the national police and our many institutions were bombed. They opened fire on civilians with helicopters, tanks and heavy weaponry. We thwarted this attempt thanks to the bravery and resistance of our nation. 241 citizens died a martyr’s death and 2.194 others got wounded during these treacherous attacks. Behind the July 15 coup attempt is the Fetullah Terrorist Organization and its leader living in Pennsylvania. You have come to Istanbul on the occasion of this congress and thus given support to our democracy, country and nation. I thank all of you on my behalf and on behalf of my nation. I hope that this noble stance of yours sets an example to those who still refrain from lending a clear support to Turkey and attempt to teach us a lesson on human rights and democracy by using coup plotting terrorists as an excuse.”
“TURKEY HAS THE CAPACITY AND DETERMINATION TO FIGHT ALL THESE TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS”
President Erdoğan drew attention to the fact that the FETO is not the only terrorist organization Turkey is fighting against, but that Turkey is also coming under heavy attacks from the PKK and DAESH. The President further stated: “One of the most important reasons for Turkey’s interest towards Syria and Iraq is the attacks DAESH and PKK-YPG terrorists are launching against our country from these countries.”
Recalling that PKK terrorists in preparation of a suicide attack with a bomb-laden vehicle blew themselves up in Ankara the previous day when they were about to be caught, as well as the terrorist attack that was carried out yesterday in the Şemdinli district of Hakkari, President Erdoğan pointed out: “These treacherous attacks, targeting our country’s unity, integrity and peace, have no chance of success. These attacks are struggles of the terrorist organization to make itself heard after left with increasingly limited movement area thanks to the successful operations by our security forces. Turkey has the capacity and determination to fight all these terrorist organizations.”
“TURKEY’S STRUGGLE IN SYRIA AND IRAQ IS A VITAL NECESSITY”
“Since terror is a global problem, it is our right to expect support from other countries for our country’s anti-terror struggle. I am of the belief that we have the same right as we have at home to put up an intense fight in Syria and Iraq, as well, where terrorist threats against our country arise from,” said the President and stressed that “Turkey’s struggle in Syria and Iraq is a vital necessity, not an ordinary preference.”
Adding that the security of world energy resources depends on clearing these regions of terrorist organizations and acts, President Erdoğan concluded his address as follows: “Therefore, we are also struggling for the global energy security alongside our own security. I believe that the messages we hereby give will reach, in an open and clear manner, those whom they concern. I once again wish the congress to yield successful and favorable results for the energy sector and all mankind.”