Turkey should diversify its energy sources by focusing on its strategic region, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak said Wednesday.
"We are one of the highest amount of [natural] gas consuming countries in the world with more than 50 billion cubic meters a year," he said at the eighth Turkey Investment Conference in New York.
"More than 50 percent of it relies on a specific country," he said. "So, we should create some alternatives, like additional pipelines."
While around 95 percent of Turkey's domestic oil and natural gas consumption is based on foreign energy imports, over 55 percent out of the country's total gas imports came from Russia with 26.7 billion cubic meters last year.
Albayrak pointed to Turkey's strategic position in the region and its neighbors that have rich oil and gas reserves.
"More than 60 percent of global oil and gas reserves are in the region around Turkey, like from Russia and Azerbaijan to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar," he said.
Although Turkey does not have much oil and gas resources on its own, the minister said: "We are in the middle of the reserves and the market."
Europe, which is one of the main markets in the world for oil and gas, also imports most of its hydrocarbon resources from abroad. Albayrak believes Turkey could be a bridge between the European energy market and energy supplies in the Middle East.
"We are the only reliable and trustable partner for decades, especially for Europe. Even we are struggling through tough times in our relationships, we have to get over with them. We have to be rational and pragmatic. We should create such a portfolio that everybody should win," he explained.