Turkish Energy Minister to Environmentalists: If You Hate Our Policy So Much, Stop Using Energy


Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız visits the Greenpeace office in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district. Photo via Bursa Burada.

The persistently high temperatures that have many parts of Turkey sweltering also have the country's air conditioners cranking away -- and the nation's energy minister hot under the collar at any suggestion that record energy use might be anything other than a positive sign for the country.Earlier this month, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız proudly announced that the country had hit an all-time high in energy consumption, burning through 700 million kilowatt-hours in one day, largely due to the summer spike in air-conditioner use.

Record Energy Use Hailed
"We should mention this record level as a symbol. This figure showed us that Turkey has overcome the economic crisis experienced last year," Yıldız said. "I can say that this energy-consumption figure symbolizing Turkey's growth will improve more."

The back-patting seemed misplaced -- to put it mildly -- in a summer that has seen Russia and Pakistan, to name just two, ravaged by climate change-linked disasters. And Yıldız's subsequent comments clearly showed he sees any talk of moderating or reconsidering energy production and consumption as an affront.

Critics Should Sit in the Dark
Lashing out at what he called the "couple of" nongovernmental organizations critical of the country's dam and nuclear power projects, the energy minister said:

"We will keep producing energy since the country's demand is high.... The sources that are criticized harshly by some generate 35 percent of the energy supply of the country. The ones who criticize our energy projects and object to them should not use our energy."

Of course, that would give Yıldız less consumption to crow about.

More about Turkey and energy:
'Just Talk' from Turkey at Copenhagen, Activists Say
Can a Green-Power Underachiever Reach its Full Potential?
Get with the Times, Turkey: Coal Plants are Sooo Last Century
Training Young 'Energy Detectives' to Save at Home
Turkey Needs Wind, Solar for Energy Security, Expert Says
Pricey Energy May Make Insulation More Enticing

Tags: Air Conditioning | Energy | Renewable Energy | Turkey

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