Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant from the Perspective of Energy Security: A Solution or a Deadlock?

Besides its lack of resources, Turkey’s main problem in terms of energy security is its import dependency. Turkey is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels, and natural gas is the most critical one among them. Natural gas has the largest share in Turkey’s energy mix; 55% of Turkey’s natural gas needs is met by Russia, which leads to interdependency between these parties in the energy domain. Turkey therefore is seeking ways to diversify its energy supplies. As part of such a search, Turkey initiated its nuclear expansion and started building a nuclear plant in Akkuyu, Mersin. Yet, Turkey’s reliance on Russia in the construction and operation of the power plant has the potential of leading Turkey into a further stalemate in terms of energy dependency. This is because, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant will allow Russia to become more powerful within the scope of this interdependent relation with Turkey, which gives rise to serious geopolitical and geo-economical risks. This paper studies the implication of this dependency relationship on Turkey’s energy security and argues that a nuclear power plant built by Russia in Akkuyu will be disadvantageous for Turkey. The paper also examines Akkuyu’s possible effects on Turkey’s natural gas dependency.

Authors: Azime Telli