News / Middle East

    Turkey Seeks Energy from Azerbaijan

    Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Ankara, Jan. 28, 2016.
    Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Ankara, Jan. 28, 2016.
    Dorian Jones

    With Russian-Turkish relations remaining sour after Turkey downed a Russian bomber, Ankara is looking to Azerbaijan and Central Asia for support in helping to ease its dependency on Russian energy.

    The first country Turkish Prime Minster Ahmet Davutoglu visited after the November downing was neighbor Azerbaijan. Turkey depends on Russia for over half its natural gas and reducing that dependency is a priority. Ankara often describes its relationship with energy-rich Azerbaijan as “two nations, one people.” It is an obvious choice, says Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Institute in Brussels.

    "Azerbaijan, being one of the most promising countries that can supply — if need be — natural gas, would allow Turkey to decrease its dependence on Russia," Ulgen said. "But there would be certainly sensitivity in Baku in trying not to be too confrontational with Russia. Russia is a major player and has influence on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."

    Observers point out tensions have recently heightened between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed ethnic Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan. Ankara is also looking for support from energy-rich Central Asian states which share ethnic ties with Turkey.

    Turkey’s ruling AK party, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has invested political and financial capital in the region. Despite such efforts, political columnist Semih Idiz of Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper says Ankara is struggling to find support.

    "I don't think Turkey has automatic backing of these countries. You see, the Central Asia republics plus Azerbaijan are put in a very delicate situation in this fight between Turkey and Russia, because they are heavily dependent on Russia politically; they are all part of Russia’s defense union that Moscow has, and they have dealings with Russia that they cannot overlook," said Idiz. "So you will notice, since the Russian jet crisis, these republics have not been extremely vocal."

    In December, Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev called on Ankara to apologize to Moscow for the downing of the Russian aircraft by Turkish jets.  Atambayev had in the past referred to his Turkish counterpart as my “old brother.” Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish president ’s spokesman, described the apology call as unfortunate.

    Observers say Moscow is giving Ankara a hard lesson in real-politik when it comes to the Caucasus and Central Asia.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 08, 2016 9:10 PM
    Diplomacy is one thing but money is money. Europe, now Turkey are looking for alternative sources of energy to Russia which dominated the market for so long. And there is so much energy available in the current glut there will be plenty of ways and places to get it from. As cheap as oil and gas have become, it could get even cheaper as competition steepens. One more blow to Russia's ailing economy would be insufficient customers to buy what it can deliver. How long will Putin remain so popular with Russians? Until the standard of living for average Russians drops to where it is no longer acceptable. Personal comfort will trump nationalism in the end.

    by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
    February 01, 2016 8:23 AM
    Turkey could draw upon close sources of natural gas if I am correct to believe that much of the onshore of Italy is rich in natural gas deposits and that the Sicily onshore has rich oil deposits.
    In Response

    by: mhlf from: türkiye
    February 27, 2016 11:12 AM
    ıtaly is more dangerous than russia for turkey due to stance of ıtaly for pkk...

    by: Val
    January 31, 2016 2:16 PM
    Did you notice that Dorian perennially and exclusively talks to Idiz and Ulgen? Does VOA care?

    by: Sarxan Aghayev
    January 30, 2016 4:33 AM
    I am sure that Azerbaijan and Turkey will support each other
    In Response

    by: Huseyin from: Baku
    February 10, 2016 3:28 AM
    One nation, two government is our slogan/ We are also TURKISH. We shal always be with TURKIYE, They are our blood brothers. But Russia and America helps kursd.Why? If Turkiye is the member of NATO, why should America help Kurds? America should support Turkiye and Turkmens in Kerkuk, who is also Azerbaijanian Turkish people. In Suriya and Yemen, in Iran (Tabriz) also Live Azerbaijanian Turks. and who is kurd? They are just gipsies, living in every country. America should not carry two faced( hipocratical) policy. With this policy we understand that, America doesn't like Turkiye, does't want that Turkish government have influence in th Middle East. Don't carry policy like Putin.

    by: Bayulken from: Texas USA
    January 29, 2016 8:04 PM
    Great idea... Here is the first phase of the TCP second phase should be adding TURKMEN and KAZAK natural gas and oil pipeline...then Europe will feel better Turks will be happy KAZAKHS and Turkmens and Azerbaijani's will have SAFE SECURE PASSAGE for their product and CASH their economy. GEOGIANS will have a great income due to transit pipeline ex Azerbaijan to Turkey.. Great IDEA.. However this Idea was the IDEA - called TRANS CASPIAN PIPELINE..I personally have worked on it ... in 1998-1999-and 2000 until Russians, Iranians, & Shell- Azerbaijan stuck a stick to the turning wheel..

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora