Gas station owners fume over smuggled Syrian gasoline
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJun 18, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jun 18, 2014 12:00 am
Gasolinesmuggled from Syria to Turkey has roused anger among gas station owners in eastern and southeastern Turkey. Following the seizure of the Turkish Consulate in the Iraqi city of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the gasoline which is being smuggled from Syria to Turkey has turned into a source of finance for extremist terror organizations in the region. Apart from the cities of Hatay and Niğde, it also caused trouble for other gas dealers in many cities of eastern and southeastern Anatolia.
Gas station owners in the cities of Tunceli, Elazığ and Bingöl held a meeting in Elazığ on June 7, during which they complained about sales which came to a standstill due to the smuggled gasoline that was being sold much cheaper than market prices.
They voiced their grievances and said "we have no other alternative apart from shutting down the stations, as we cannot sell even a liter of gasoline."
Turkishauthorities carried out an elaborate study and identified the methods of smuggling which was in line with data that came from Hatay and the fuel sector. According to the findings of the public institutions and fuel companies, fuel is smuggled to Turkey in the following four ways:
1 A rope that has been tightened over the Orontes River which lies between Syria and Turkey. The fuelfilled drums are brought to Turkey via this line and empty ones are sent back to Syria by the same method.
2 The fuel is shipped to Turkey through a plastic pipe line that has been built between the two countries.
3 It is brought by horse-drawn vehicles.
4 It is also smuggled by trucks with large-capacity tankers.
According to the sector sources, the smuggled gasoline is much cheaper than the licensed one in the domestic markets. They say "a liter of gasoline is around TL 4.5 ($2.10) in Turkey, while the price of the smuggled one ranges from TL 1.5 to TL 2. Smuggled gasoline is mostly preferred for buses and trucks."