by Oğuzhan Akyener & Mehmet Apaydın:
Turkey, due to growing population and economy, faces increasing consumption of energy, and day by day, becomes naturally a center of demand for energy sources in a strategic geography with abundant sources, but unfortunately, all the valuable sources are discovered outside the country borders. Even though public related institutions and private sector do their best to accelerate the exploration projects lately, the outcomes are dissatisfactory and the increase in the production is always far from compensating the increase in energy demand.
The increasing demand and unsatisfactory exploration results lead to more energy shortage, which means higher overdependence of external suppliers. Despite the failures in meeting local energy needs with national resources, abundance of supply is fortunately not far away since geopolitical location of Turkey is able to create some opportunities for its energy supplies. As clearly seen in the world map, Turkey has a position as a bridge between the energy-rich area (covering the Caspian Region, the Middle East and the East Mediterranean Sea) and the demand center, Europe. This leads Turkey to become an important energy corridor in the region.
It is obvious that there will be enormous strategic and economic benefits of becoming an energy corridor between energy producing and consuming giants. However, if Turkey wants to get a bigger share from global energy pie, studies shall focus on forming a real energy center as opposed to being a transit country in this location.
In this paper, the strategic and economic benefits for the situation of Turkey as an energy corridor today and in the future (2035) will be analyzed. Moreover, after defining an energy transit corridor, energy hub, and energy center, the difference between becoming an energy corridor, energy hub, and a real energy center will be mentioned. As a result, opinions on some necessary steps that Turkey shall take to become an energy center will be elaborated and consistencies of Turkey being an energy transit corridor and a real energy center will be analyzed.