He affirmed commitment to continuing to buy oil and gas from Iran despite US threats, with no plans to halt or even reduce imports in the future.
He said further he was "not afraid" of possible US sanctions over continued dealings with Tehran, Reuters reported. This as the Trump administration has gone after Chinese shipping companies this week over alleged sanctions busting activity related to Iranian oil imports to China and other east Asian ports.
No doubt Erdogan has to be taking note of the lengths to which Washington is prepared to go, which included rattling the global shipping industry this week by sanctioning Chinese firms China Concord Petroleum Co., Kunlun Shipping Co., Pegasus 88 Ltd., and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co, in its long-haul campaign to see Iranian oil exports go to "zero".
Turkey has long been exclusively reliant on imports to meet the growing energy needs of its 80 million citizens.
Turkish media sources note that even the country's electrical grid is heavily tied to natural gas imports, as "almost 40 percent of its electricity is produced in gas-fired plants."