Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin announced on September 24 that Turkey and Israel will hold talks to negotiate the transportation of natural gas to Europe.
According to Kalin, senior adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the meeting between the two delegations will take place in October.
Ankara expressed interest in a possible gas transfer deal with Israel in May after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to aggressive sanctions from the United States and its European partners, sparking a flare-up energy prices.
The spokesperson pointed out that there were two alternatives to offset some of the pressure caused by an energy shortage in Europe; first, to strengthen the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) for Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea, and second, to develop alternative transportation routes through Turkey for Israeli, Lebanese and Egyptian natural gas.
The presidential spokesman argued that European energy security would depend on Turkey in both cases.
Erdogan announced in May that negotiations between the two countries would begin soon, saying that “there will be meetings between our Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and Israeli officials in this regard. For now, the outlook on the issue is positive.
Turkey’s attitude towards Israel has changed in recent months, after years of tension.
In 2018, the two governments expelled each other’s ambassadors, with Turkey criticizing Tel Aviv for its violations of Palestinian human rights. A year later, the two states reduced their economic cooperation.
By 2021, however, economic ties had revived, with bilateral trade between Israel and Turkey reaching around $7.7 billion. On August 17, Israel and Turkey announced the formal normalization of relations and the full restoration of diplomatic relations.
Recent Turkish efforts were followed by a state visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzog in March, the first of its kind in more than a decade, and a visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu a few weeks later. .
Now that European demand is growing, Turkey and Israel want to accelerate plans from 2016 to build a new pipeline from Israel through Turkey and supply 21 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Israel’s Leviathan gas field.