Türkiye will not discuss any energy-related projects with Israel without a cease-fire in Gaza, as it would be disrespectful to Palestinians who are experiencing great brutality, a senior official said late.
“In such an atmosphere, in an environment of such great brutality, human drama, it would be disrespectful to humanity, to our humanity, to our siblings there (in Palestine) to talk about any project,” Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar told a private broadcaster.
“The only thing we will talk about at this time is how we can meet Gaza’s electricity, water and food needs. This could happen. That would be the only project,” he said.
Israel has launched air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by the resistance group Hamas on Oct. 7.
Pointing out that life has stopped in the region after the Gaza attacks, Bayraktar said: “After the great brutality and cruelty experienced there, the only project we can talk about right now is how we can get Gaza’s electricity back on its feet again.”
“We have sent generators. They are waiting at the Rafah border crossing,” he added.
“We are considering how we can contribute there with floating power plants and mobile power plants, which we call power ships,” the minister said, reiterating it is impossible to talk about anything without a cease-fire.
Despite growing calls for a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear there will not be one unless the hostages are freed.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Tuesday that the death toll from Israeli’s intensified onslaught on the Gaza Strip has risen to 10,328 people. Amid the soaring death toll, basic necessities are quickly running out in Gaza after Israel imposed a “full siege” on the enclave that has nearly halted ground humanitarian aid deliveries.
‘New vessel, electronic gas platform’
Touching upon Türkiye’s energy resources, the minister revealed their aim to add a new vessel, and said, “We aim to add a production ship to our fleet. It will be located on the sea surface instead of a platform.”
Stating that the ship will be purchased from Singapore, Bayraktar explained that Türkiye will be able to search for gas with its ships by making various agreements, not only in its own seas, but also with nations such as Libya and other African countries in the coming period. New ships can be purchased if the fleet is not sufficient.
Amid the aim of increasing the country’s nuclear energy resources to 20,000 megawatts (MW) until 2050, he also recalled ongoing negotiations with China for the construction of a new nuclear plant in the eastern Thrace region, which he said they “want to finalize within a few months.”
Russia is currently constructing Türkiye’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, on the Mediterranean coast, which employs around 30,000 people, Bayrkatar said. At the same time, the country is in talks for another plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop.
Furthermore, in addition to the establishment of a proposed gas trade hub by Russia in Türkiye that envisions the setting up of an electronic platform for gas sales in the future, Bayraktar said they aim to create an energy and mining exchange within the Istanbul Financial Center (IFC) where more comprehensive trade will be carried out.
“We want to establish a larger structure by using the advantages of the IFC. The platform we talked about with Russia can be an addition to this. It will be an energy center and will come to life in 2024. We are thinking of a structure that can include domestic and foreign private sectors,” he said.