Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz says Turkey is determined to boost the level of its bilateral trade volume with Iran, Iran`s Press TV reported on Jan. 23.
Speaking at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, he said Turkey imported $ 7.6 billion worth of Iranian natural gas and crude oil in 2013, which is a huge figure.
The figure, Yildiz further noted, included $ 4.5 billion worth of natural gas and $ 3.1 billion of crude oil.
Turkey seeks to raise the level of its trade transactions with Iran within a logical and legal framework, he pointed out.
Commenting on the implementation of the landmark deal clinched between Iran and six major powers in Geneva in November 2013 over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program, Yildiz said Turkey is among the countries that are affected the most by the issue since Iran is Turkey's friendly neighbor.
On January 12, Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US - plus Germany finalized an agreement on ways to implement as of January 20 the interim nuclear deal the two sides struck in Geneva on November 24, 2013. The accord is aimed at setting the stage for the full resolution of the decade-old standoff over Iran's nuclear energy program.
At a meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on January 4, the two officials underlined the importance of enhancing trade cooperation between their respective countries to $ 30 billion by 2015.
Zarif and Erdogan underlined the need to facilitate the activities of merchants and businesses and remove the existing obstacles in the way of mutual trade.
On November 26, 2013, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his country can become an energy corridor for its eastern oil- and gas-rich neighbor, Iran.
"Turkey's annual energy demand is $ 60 billion. Turkey is a corridor country, Iran is a producer country. If we fuse both potentials, Turkey could become the corridor for energy provider Iran," Davutoglu said.
Iran is Turkey's second biggest gas supplier after Russia. Turkey uses a significant portion of its imported Iranian natural gas to generate electricity.