Turkey holds key to European security

In a climate of decreasing European public support for its accession to the EU, Turkey can prove its value by emphasising three ways in which its membership would reduce risk to the EU.

by World Economic Forum
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

First, it can ensure that Europe gets the oil and gas it needs. For example, Turkey has access to oil in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, through the 1 million barrels per day Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan  pipeline.

Once security has improved, Turkey may also become a key supplier of oil from Iraq. Already, there is the Bluestream gas pipeline from Russia. While there are Turco-Russian plans afoot for Bluestream 2, there are also talks taking place with Iran, which would create yet another gas pipeline.

Turkey could also offset some of the risk facing Europe as it deals with the effects of major demographic change. For example, it could supply workers to supplement a declining European workforce.

Finally, Turkey is situated in a key strategic position in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus, which may be the source of future small- and large-scale conflicts. Turkey could help to maintain security in the region and thereby reduce some of the risk of interstate and civil war. It is, for instance, a possible intermediary between Europe and Iran, and has also maintained good relationships with both Syria and Israel.

Europe@Risk, A report by the global risk network
World Economic Forum, November 2006

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