On Friday, January 24, the Turkish Heritage Organization hosted a teleconference on "Turkey's Energy Policy in the E. Mediterranean and the latest in US-Turkey Energy Cooperation" with Deputy Minister of Energy & Natural Resources and Chair of the World Energy Council in Turkey, Alparsan Bayraktar.
Alparsan Bayraktar began the discussion by addressing Turkey's substantial energy import dependency, which Bayraktar identified as the biggest challenge to Turkey's markets. He also discussed the latest energy market transition, which focused on security of supply, using local resources, and predictability in the market for investors. He touched upon Turkey's newly purchased drilling vessels and explored Turkish drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean region – acknowledging points of contention that have arisen over this drilling with other nations in the region. Finally, Bayraktar noted the obstacle that bilateral political relations between Turkey and the United States poses for improving Turkey-US energy relations, especially amid recent tensions between the countries' leaders. Despite this, he remains focused on reducing Turkey's import dependency, mainly through Turkish drilling, and sees numerous other areas that American and Turkish companies can cooperate on in terms of energy.
Bayraktar made the assessment that "We are acting constructively, pragmatically and solution-oriented in this matter. The agreement we made with Libya is a good example of that. If we had made similar agreements with other neighboring countries like Egypt and Israel, I believe their situation would also be better than the current one."
Deputy Minister Bayraktar also commented that the energy relationship between Turkey and the United States had advanced to a more profound level and mentioned that especially the close relationship between the two Leaders, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Donald Trump was having a positive effect on the bilateral economic relations.