TURKEY

75 percent of Turkish public supports TurkStream gas pipeline project, new polls say

75 PERCENT OF TURKISH PUBLIC SUPPORTS TURKSTREAM GAS PIPELINE PROJECT, NEW POLLS SAY

The TurkStream project, which will carry Russian gas to the vast European market and increase Turkey’s energy supply security, continues garnering support from Turkish public, with the latest poll showing a 75 percent approval rate

Turkish public support for the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project rose to 75 percent in 2017 compared to 56 percent in 2015, according to new polls conducted by an independent firm.

According to StratejiCo, an independent corporate and public affairs consultancy firm, the poll results demonstrated the Turkish public's belief that the TurkStream project would benefit the country.

The poll, conducted via telephone interviews with 2,407 participants, showed that 68 percent of the local community in the Turkish northwestern cities of Tekirdağ, Edirne and Kirklareli approved of the project, while the approval rate for it stood at 65 percent in 2015.

The contribution to Turkey's energy supply security, the opportunities to expand the use of natural gas as an energy source along with other economic advantages were stated as the main reasons for the support detailed in the poll results, the firm said.

Additionally, the Turkish people's endorsement of the use of natural gas also increased, the firm said, adding that while this support was 57 percent back in 2015, the current support jumped to 87 percent.

This increased backing was also reflected in the construction of new pipelines in the country, according to the firm.

"Today [in 2017], 85 percent of both general and regional public opinion is positive about such projects," it noted.

"When looking at regional developments the first line of the TurkStream project, which will directly carry gas to Turkey and decrease the risks of transit gas, will play a key role in Turkey's energy security. Therefore, these results are very important," Mehmet Öğütçü, chairman of the Bosphorus Energy Club, was quoted as saying.

The TurkStream is a transit-free export gas pipeline, which will not only stretch across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey but will further extend to Turkey's border with neighboring countries.

The 1,100-kilometer TurkStream is to deliver 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year through four parallel lines. An estimated 47 billion cubic meters will reach the Greek-Turkish border. The remaining 16 billion cubic meters of gas are to be allocated for Turkey's domestic use. Russia currently sends natural gas to Turkey via the Blue Stream and Trans-Balkan pipelines.

The pipeline will start from the southern Russian town of Anapa on the Black Sea coast and will be laid on a 900-kilometer route under the Black Sea to reach the Thrace region of Turkey along the Black Sea coast.

According to previous reports, Gazprom decided to begin construction of the offshore section of the Turkish Stream pipeline. "We made the decision at Gazprom on the beginning of construction of the offshore section of the TurkStream pipeline," Alexei Miller, its chairman, said during a televised interview with Russia's Rossiya 24 TV.

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