Turkey as a European Energy Partner and the Challenge for European Security

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Turkey, with its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is one of the key countries in the energy geopolitics of Eurasia. While it lacks substantial energy resources itself, Turkey’s geographical position enables it to present itself as an energy bridge, corridor, center or hub in the region. It is estimated that 73% of proven oil reserves and 72% of proven gas reserves in the world are located in Turkey’s neighborhood. This makes Turkey an important energy corridor for the European market, which accounted for almost 20% of all global oil consumption and 30% of global natural gas consumption in 2019 (BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2020). Turkish policymakers have frequently made references to these geopolitical role conceptions, interchangeably, in order to highlight their country’s strategic importance for consumers in Europe and producers in Asia since the end of the Cold War. This paper aims to explore and evaluate Turkey’s changing role as a partner for the EU and possible challenges for European security in light of the latest developments, particularly the intensified competition between the EU and Turkey in the security fields. 

Mitat Çelikpala, Prof. Dr., Kadir Has University

Prof. Dr. Mitat Çelikpala is a faculty member at Kadir Has University, Department of International Relations. Çelikpala’s areas of work include the former Soviet geography and the Caucasus, diaspora studies, the Black Sea Region and its security, Turkish-Russian relations, energy security, critical infrastructure security and the fight against terrorism. He completed his undergraduate education at METU, his master’s degree at Hacettepe, and his doctoral study at Bilkent University. Oxford University St. A Senior Associate Member at Antony’s College and a member of the EDAM Board of Directors, Çelikpala is an academic advisor at NATO Anti-Terrorism Center of Excellence, Turkish Armed Forces Strategic Research Center (SAREM), Ministry of Foreign Affairs Strategic Research Center, as well as various international institutions, think tanks and companies. Çelikpala has articles and reviews published in academic journals and current media on the above-mentioned issues.

Constantinos Filis, Dr., Institute of Global Affairs

Director at the Institute of Global Affairs. Associate Professor at the American College of Greece. President of the Foundation for Thracean Art and Tradition and member of Advisory Committee of the Institute of International Relations, Panteion University. Also, commentator for Ant1 Group.  Former Executive Director and Director of Research at the Institute of International Relations, Panteion University.  His most recent books/monographs are: “Assertive Patriotism”, “Greece in its neighbourhood”, “A Closer Look at Russia and its Influence in the World”, “Turkey, Islam, Erdogan”, and “Refugees, Europe, Insecurity”.

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