It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Turks pay about 5 liras ($2.30) per liter at the pump, a higher price than in most European countries and more than double the average in the U.S.—the equivalent of almost $9 a gallon. That makes cheap oil and gasoline smuggled across the border from Syria and Iraq attractive. The fuel makes its way into Turkey by truck, hauled inside canisters, or is pumped through plastic pipelines. Middlemen purchase the fuel for 1 lira to 1.5 liras per liter, says Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, a Turkish legislator. By the time it arrives in the city of Gaziantep, a booming export hub in southeastern Turkey, it sells on the black market for about 3 liras, locals say.
The trouble is, much of that gas comes from Islamic State, the murderous proto-government that rules a swath of territory straddling Syria and Iraq. The Sunni militants control about 60 percent of Syria’s crude oil production assets and several oil wells in Iraq, says Luay al-Khatteeb, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. While some of the fuel is sold or distributed in Syria and Iraq, the rest is smuggled to southern Turkey. “It’s the only export market that Islamic State has,” he says.
Smuggling has always played a role in the border economy, but it’s grown out of control since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011. The amount of fuel seized at the border by authorities has tripled since then, say two government sources speaking on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak to the press. Over the past few months, Turkey’s armed forces have started taking a tougher line, stopping trucks at the border and destroying pipelines, often little more than hoses. “We try to make sure that those smugglers know that if they smuggle now, it will be related to terrorism,” says one of the officials.
Its not an announcement. The most important thing is that we have this information and we are going to use it for our goal, not to prove anything but to fight against terrorism, "Peskof stressed in statements made by the representatives of the press.