The role of Turkey in western Balkan energy security


ASIA EUROPE JOURNAL, vol.13, no.2, pp.175-192, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10308-014-0408-4
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.175-192
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The western Balkans as a region is at the crossroads of the east-west energy transportation routes, and it is confronted with the simultaneous tasks of transforming its economic outlook and its energy infrastructure: a process that creates unique opportunities as well as challenges. By confronting these challenges and making the best use of its opportunities through sound decision-making, the region could significantly improve energy security. The transformation of the dynamics of energy security in the western Balkans is an opportunity not only for the region but also for the countries like Turkey, which is rapidly becoming an important player in the east-west energy supply corridor. While much of the literature focused on energy security and the region has explored its relations with Russia and the EU, this article expands and enhances knowledge of this topical subject by exploring the highly important position Turkey occupies in the region's energy security dynamics. For reasons both specific to Turkey and to its particular sets of interconnected relationships with the EU and Russia, the article demonstrates that Turkey is uniquely situated to contribute to energy security in the western Balkans. The major aim of this study is thus to provide a clear understanding of Turkey's energy policy in the western Balkans in light of its own relations with the two key players of EU and Russia, as well as its particular domestic-level characteristics. The fundamental argument is that Ankara, with its proactive diplomacy and advanced bilateral partnerships with Russia and the EU, is particularly positioned to contribute-and has the capacity to continue to contribute-to the future of energy security in the western Balkans.