World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's energy ministry has started technical work with Iraq's central government on shipping crude oil from Basra in southern Iraq via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline to Turkey's Mediterranean coast and on to world markets, its minister said on Friday.
The announcement came days after Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region said it might begin selling natural gas directly to Turkey within two years, a move that was expected to further strain Ankara's ties with Baghdad.
"We have launched technical work with the Iraq central government on bringing Basra crude oil from Kirkuk to Ceyhan and from there to world markets," the ministry quoted Energy Minister Taner Yıldız as saying.
No further details on the plans were immediately available.
Iraq is expected to provide the world's largest expansion in oil export capacity in 2012 due to the opening of two floating single point mooring (SPM) terminals in the Gulf earlier this year. That increase is adding to global supplies as sanctions curb shipments from Iran.
The idea of shipping Basra oil via Turkey appeared to be new.
Iraq is the second-biggest market for Turkish exports, amounting to more than $8 billion last year, after Germany.
But Turkish officials have been locked in a war of words with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki since December, when he ordered the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, based on allegations that he ran death squads.
In recent years, Ankara has also cultivated growing trade ties with the regional administration in the north, which accounts for some 70 percent of Turkey's exports to Iraq and would be Turkey's eighth-biggest export market if it were a country.
Islamic consumerism has taken on a new form and in Turkey, Islamic dress has become a symbol of religious freedom, with many believing the evolving Islamic fashion industry is another tool of capitalism
Yildirim meets Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef in Ankara
Targets of Turkish airstrikes include shelters, weapons dumps
Moody's decision to cut Turkey's rating failed to impress investors, according to Berenberg anaylst
Phone call dominated by violence in Aleppo plus Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria
Nobody took Moody's rating seriously, as it came from political motives, not economic indicators, says the president
Nearly 2 dozen TV, radio stations that support terror groups and threaten national security removed from TurkSat's lineup
Turkey's ongoing state of emergency only aims for an effective fight against FETO and PKK, says President Erdogan
National Security Council meeting chaired by President Erdogan also declares July 15 ‘Day of Democracy and Freedom’
Two others captured along with weapons and ammunition, military says
Police also find 12 AK-47s, a machine gun, 14 grenades and PKK extrem group documents inside house in Sirnak province
Last year, 340,000 Syrian refugees received education in Turkey
Turkey’s EU Minister Omer Celik says while EU considers PKK as terror group, opposition party HDP rejects to do the same
They discussed bilateral and regional issues, including the Syrian conflict, the source added.
Village guard succumbs to injuries sustained in Monday's roadside bomb in Mardin province