Turkish Amb: Greece and Turkey Can Improve Relations Through Energy Sector


Turkey’s Ambassador to Greece Burak Ozugergin. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS -- Greece and Turkey can and ought to improve relations, Turkish Ambassador to Greece Burak Ozugergin said at the Athens Energy Dialogues on Wednesday, and highlighted how energy could and should be a field of collaboration rather than conflict.

According to a statement by the organizers, Ambassador Ozugergin pointed out the Greece and Turkey already collaborate closely through the Τrans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline gas project.

Collaborating on regional energy issues is positive, he added, according to the statement, but there is also the opposite, when a country feels it is being ignored or treated unfairly. One such case, he said, is the reserves on the island of Cyprus. Negotiations on the Cyprus issue held since the 1960s failed because there was no political will, he said, but any solution should be achieved through negotiations and win-win proposals. He further added that any solution must take into account the realities formed on the island, not try to bend them.

Hydrocarbons could be part of the issue's resolution, the ambassador noted, and could build trust between the two communities on the island.

The Athens Energy Dialogues have been taking place since 2012 and focus on building networks among industry, finance and other experts. This year, they are held over February 17 and 18.