Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pipeline politics give Turkey an edge

A pipeline that brings Caspian oil to Turkey's coast opens Wednesday.

Turkey's heartland of Anatolia - the massive plateau that serves as a land bridge between Asia and Europe - is dotted with the remains of 13th-century inns, reminders of the merchant caravans that traveled the fabled east-west Silk Road.

Some 800 years later, Turkey is again trying to take advantage of its strategic location. Today, instead of caravansaries it is building pipelines, and instead of silk and spices the products are less romantic: oil and natural gas.

A major part of this plan becomes a reality Wednesday, when the new Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, a $4 billion, 1,093-mile project that brings Caspian Sea oil to Turkey's Mediterranean coast will be inaugurated. It should be fully operational by the end of 2005.

Read the rest of the article on the Christian Science Monitor.

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