Smuggled fuel from Syria may slow the Turkish fuel market
"The smuggled fuel coming from Syria has begun to affect us adversely since the beginning of April," Mr. Thomsen said in a meeting with energy correspondents late on July 7. He said the market growth, which is expected to be around 4 to 4.5 percent for the year end, will be 1.5 to 3 points less than initial estimates due to problems arising from the illegal trade from Syria, the country which Turkey shares a border of more than 900 kilometers.
"Fuel sales have remarkably dropped, particularly in southern provinces," according to Mr. Thomsen.
However, illegal sales extend beyond border provinces, even reaching the Central Anatolian province of Konya, Thomsen said, warning that the presence of smuggled fuel in the Turkish market had come to alarming levels. "The market has been affected in a triangle-shaped region up to Central Anatolia," said Mr. Thomsen.
The total volume of smuggled fuel from Syria has reached around 500,000 tons, sector sources estimate, while the size of the entire gasoline market is expected to be around 17.5 to 18 million tons. ■