Turkey and Russia maintain close energy ties in spite of difficulties in other areas of their relationship. This compartmentalization of ties was tested following the downing of a Russian jet by Turkish Armed Forces. However, the Turkish Stream had been suspended prior to this incident by Ankara, in part because of disagreements over gas pricing. Reconciliation between Ankara and Moscow led to a reactivation of the Turkish Stream. Given their mutual dependency the energy relationship between Turkey and Russia will likely remain fairly immune to possible future downturns in ties.
With decisions about to be made on major pipeline projects, Turkey could become a vital component of the so-called southern gas corridor. Turkey is aiming to become a significant gas transit state and key energy hub. However, in spite of separate transit deals for Nabucco and the Trans-Anatolian pipeline projects, Ankara has still to establish a proper gas transit regime. Geopolitical tensions and the possible increased risk of attacks on infrastructure could threaten Ankara’s ambitions. But energy dependence on Russia will probably not thwart Turkey’s plans as Turkish officials seek to facilitate the transportation of gas from northern Iraq and Turkmenistan, as well as from Azerbaijan, to the European market.