What's at Stake for Whom

At a Glance:

Map of Turkey
CIA map

Turkey's strategic location makes it a natural "energy bridge" between major oil producing areas in the Middle East and Caspian Sea regions on the one hand, and consumer markets in Europe on the other. Turkey's port of Ceyhan is an important outlet both for current Iraqi oil exports as well as for potential future Caspian oil exports. Turkey's Bosporus Straits are a major shipping "choke point" between the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Finally, Turkey is a rapidly growing energy consumer in its own right.

Oil and gas transportation is a crucial and contentious issue in Central Asia. Turkey and the United States have been pressing for a "Western route" pipeline that would carry oil from Azerbaijan's port of Baku through Azerbaijan and Georgia and then across Turkey to Ceyhan, at an estimated cost of US$1.8-$4 billion. This would be a major part of the proposed "Eurasian Corridor" to bring Caspian oil and gas to international markets via Turkey, and to bypass Russia and Iran. Russia, on the other hand, is promoting a "Northern route" across the Caucasus to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. From there, oil would be transported through the Bosporus (which Turkey claims is too crowded already, and a potential danger to Istanbul) or via a proposed pipeline from Bulgaria to Greece and the rest of Europe. Other proposals include a pipeline to Georgia's Black Sea port of Supsa, and a swap arrangement with, or export pipeline through, Iran.

Population: 66,493,970 (July 2001 est.)
Industries: Textiles, food processing, autos, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper
Energy Production: 28.406 million tons of coal equivalent
Energy Exports: 6.3 percent of production
Energy Consumption: 78.56 million tons of coal equivalent
Energy Imports: 73.8 percent of consumption
Annual Growth in Demand: 4 percent

Sources: Economist Intelligence Unit, U.S. Department of Energy

Newspapers Online:

In English:
Turkish Daily News
, Ankara

In Turkish (partial list):
, Ankara
, Istanbul
Bilgisayar Gazetesi, Istanbul
Dünya (focused on international news), Istanbul
Günes (conservative), Istanbul
Hürriyet (independent), Istanbul
Milliyet (liberal-reformist), Istanbul
Zaman (Islamist), Istanbul