The Chairman of the Slovak Parliament Pavol Paškaand his counterpart from Turkish Republic Cemil Çiçek met last week to discuss opportunities for deepening economic cooperation, particularly in the energy sector.
“Turkey is not only our ally in the NATO but primarily has a huge economic growth potential. For the Slovak economy, as a part of the European market, Turkey is a huge challenge,” Mr. Paška said.
Mr. Çiçek added that at the time of their meeting in Bratislava, member of the joint Turkish – Slovak economic committee were gathering to discuss about intensifying mutual trade relations.
„Turkey is interested in deepened the cooperation not only in the economic and trade area, but also in the area of political dialogue, as well as in the energy area. Energy is a vital issue for both countries,“ Çiçek said.
Both countries rely on import of primary energy sources and Turkey plays a crucial part in biggest pipeline projects which might increase the energy security of the EU (e.g. South Stream, Nabucco or TAP).
Together with the internationally unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Ankara is also planning to explore oil and gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.
One of the potential areas of energy collaboration is nuclear power. Slovakia has a long experience with nuclear research, production and safety improvements. Around 54 % of Slovak electricity comes from nuclear.
On the other hand, Turkey has had plans for establishing nuclear energy production since the 1970´s. Since electricity demand is expected to be around 450 billion kWh it has become a key topic for economic growth.