Pre-election 'oil discovery' of AKP government in Turkey

Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources has claimed that they found high-quality oil around the southeastern region
Friday, 22 March 2019 15:26

Turkey’s ruling AKP announced yesterday that they discovered an oil reserve in the southeastern province of Siirt ahead of the local elections on March 31.

Fatih Dönmez, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, has claimed that they discovered high-quality oil in the southeastern provinces of Siirt and Diyarbakır. “The producible total reserve in the field is around 2 million barrel,” he said.

Stating that they have been going through a huge breakthrough in their oil and natural gas exploration activities for a long time, Dönmez has also claimed that they discovered new fields of natural gas in Turkey’s northwestern region of Thrace.

He said that the amount of these reserves is 3 billion cubic meters, adding that the field would satisfy 300 thousands of households’ natural gas demand for 10 years, and would contribute amounting nearly $900 million to meet Turkey’s current account deficit.  

Dönmez has gone on to say that their deep and shallow marine drillings are continuing in the Mediterranean, adding that they conducted the drilling of 70 land wells, and they are aiming to double this number. 


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP government is known with its claims of oil or natural gas discoveries during electoral propaganda periods before elections. However, such claims have always fallen into oblivion following the elections.

Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son-in-law and the former energy minister, visited the city of Hakkari when their government announced that they had discovered oil reserves in the region nearly a month before the general elections in June 2018. There has been no report about the “discovered” reserves after the elections.

Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s pro-AKP government state-run news agency, has severally reported news regarding oil or natural gas discoveries around Turkey since 2014. On May 16, 2018, just before last year’s elections, the agency announced that the government discovered high-quality oil reserves in the southeastern cities of Batman, Mardin, and Şırnak.

The agency claimed in October 2015 that Lukoil, PanAtlantic and Romgaz companies found huge natural gas reserves in the Black Sea, while it reported in January 2015 that the Canada-based Marsa energy company discovered natural gas in the Thrace.   

Similar claims about the “discovery” of new oil or natural gas reserves around Turkey are coming again from pro-government media outlets as Turkey is running to the local elections that will be held on March 31.