Turkey and Russia have close ties in the energy industry, started after Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 and annexation of Crimea in 2014. The Russian company Gazprom, the biggest oil and natural gas producer of both in Russia was founded in 1989. The company was belonged to the government when it was first established, and known as the Ministry of Gas Industry. It took crucial roles in Russia’s diplomatic efforts, setting of gas prices and access to pipelines. According to Wikipedia, if to imply this large company’s position with numbers in 2011. The production is approximately 513.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas, more than seventeen percent of global gas production.
Gazprom’s 2nd largest exporter is Turkey, after Germany. Therefore, the ties between Turkey and Russia are significant for Turkey due to its dependency on natural gas. Turkey is dependent on Russia for its 55% of its natural oil and 58% of Russia’s oil.
For Turkey, Russia is not only a supplier which has a capacity large enough to meet the needed amount of energy in Turkey, but also a reliable partner for this purpose. Through the Cold War to the Ukrainian crisis that took place in 2006, when considered that Russia used its power in the energy field as a tool of political pressure (Gerebi of 2013; Stegen, 2011), it is crucial stability exhibited by the supply of Russian gas to Turkey. While Russia is a reliable supplier for Turkey, Turkey is an important market which it’s demand is rapidly increasing for natural gas in Russia. In 2017, Gazprom exported 29.03 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey, where Germany imported 53.44 billion cubic meters so that Turkey has been the second-largest customer after Germany. (Gazprom, 2018).
It is clear that cross-cultural relationship between Turkey and Russia is essential for both sides; there is a robust import-export dependency, especially in the energy field, natural gas is a crucial energy source for Turkey. As important as it is, Turkey is a strategic market for Russia since Turkey is its second-largest market in that area.