Ankara has started the construction of the overland part of the Turkish Stream pipeline on its territory, Anadolu Agency reported citing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The announcement came as the president unveiled the government's action plans for the next 100 days.
"We are starting the construction of the land part of the Turkish Stream on our territory", Erdogan said.
The president added that the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.
The sea leg of the Turkish Stream, which connected the Russian and Turkish energy systems, was finished by Russia on 19 November 2018. The second leg will go overland from Turkey to South and South-Eastern European countries and will be used to transport Turkish and Russian gas to the EU.
When it is completed, the pipeline will be able to pump 31.5 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe per year. It targets the energy markets of Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Serbia.
The start of the construction of the 1,100 kilometre-long pipeline was scheduled for 2015, but was delayed due to political tensions between Turkey and Russia. After bilateral relations between the countries normalised, the contract was signed and the construction began in May 2017.