Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said Turkey due to its strategic geopolitical location serves as a "natural bridge" between energy producers and consumers.
It is in this context that Turkey is referred to by experts as the new “Silk Road" of energy, Erdogan said in his speech at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul.
The Turkish president also stressed that the country's external dependence on energy needed to be reduced to ensure sustainable development and the optimum use of its domestic resources.
He said Turkey wanted to start construction of its planned second nuclear plant, at Sinop on the Black Sea coast, as soon as possible.
Erdogan said Ankara has already started working on a planned third nuclear plant.
The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Mersin was the country's first.
He also said that Turkey was ready to evaluate new projects, including gas projects in the East Mediterranean and Iraq.
The Turkish President will later meet visiting heads of state during a closed-door meeting.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in his address to the gathering said: “The ultimate aim of our energy policies is to ensure the peace and well-being of our nation by increasing energy security.”
Yildirim said Turkey also accorded great importance to the energy security of the neighbouring countries representing both the producers and consumers.
"Energy security can only be ensured through a cooperative and coherent method of struggle," he added.
High-level executives from leading energy companies and up to 50 energy ministers will be attending the Istanbul congress.
The international event is scheduled to continue till Thursday.