By Samdat Bat Adam, ISRAEL HAYOM
Turkish media reported this week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology has paved the way for a massive joint pipeline project carrying natural gas from Israel to Turkey and from there to Europe. There is no overestimating the influence joint economic interests can have on stable relations between countries.
It is said that during a private conversation, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion once thanked French President Charles de Gaulle for France’s help to Israel, attributing it to the strong alliance and friendship between the two countries. To which De Gaulle replied, “France has no friends, only interests.”
Turkey too has interests. Despite Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an’s seeming attempts in recent years to turn Israel from a friend to an enemy, especially since the Mavi Marmara incident, it turns out that our common economic interests have been maintained and even gained momentum. It would be safe to say that beneath the outward hostility, a lot of positive energy has been flowing between the two countries.
Energy, as in energy markets, that is. Over six months ago a modest ceremony was held at the Azrieli Center, during which the Edeltech Group Ltd. marked the securing of financing for two electricity cogeneration power plants in Ashdod and Ramat Negev. These stations are expected to produce about 200 megawatts, on top of the 830 megawatts to be produced by the Dorad power plant in Ashkelon, which is in the final stages of construction.
Two additional power plants are in the offing, Solad and Tamar, which will add about 200 megawatts to the market. Together, these power plants would increase Israel’s electricity producing ability by about 10 percent.
The senior partner of Edeltech, Ahmet Zorlu, is the owner of Zorlu Holding, the second largest holding company in Turkey. Zorlu of course took part in the ceremony, along with his partners and family members. Israel’s success is his gain. Every intelligent person knows that Zorlu, like many others who do business in Israel, invests his money in Israel with the permission of the Turkish government. Zorlu Holding is the company that, along with Edeltech Group Ltd., has pushed for the pipeline exporting gas from Israel to Turkey. If and when it is established, the pipeline could carry gas worth $5 billion to $6 billion per year. Turkey would benefit from the ready availability of …read more