(Wikipedia) - The Tabriz–Ankara Pipeline officially started operating on July, 26, 2001 but the project was not easy one facing both economic and political obstacles.
Construction of the pipeline started in 1996 after signing a gas deal between Turkish and Iranian governments in Turkey on August, 30 1996; sealed during a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to Tehran.
On Aug, 11, 1996, Erbakan was met by First Vice-President Hassan Habibi and other Iranian officials including Oil Minister Gholamreza Aghazadeh at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport.
"Turkey rebuffed the U.S.," said the Tehran Times in an editorial. "This stand is commendable, for it gives priority to the Turkish national interests over those of the United States."
A U.S. Senator named Alfonse D'Amato urged the Clinton administration to press Turkey to abandon the gas deal which would involve building a pipeline.
Whatever the consequences, both nations were determined and the pipeline was commissioned on July, 26 2001. Erbakan was quoted, "Iran and Turkey have a longer relationship than the American history"
Imposed sanctions, sabotage, obstacles and covert actions:
The Iran-Turkey pipeline has been blown up several times by US-backed PKK and PJAK terrorists.
On January, 1 2008 Iran reduced gas supplies to Turkey and on January, 7 2008 gas supplies were stopped because supplies from Turkmenistan were cut-off. The supplies were restored on January, 27 2008. The supply was cut-off again in February 2008 because of bad weather conditions. Moreover, according to studies, current pipeline capacity needs to be increased.
The Turkish section, operated by BOTASH, cost $600 million. The Turkish annual import is around 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
In Erzurum, the South Caucasus Pipeline is linked to the Iran-Turkey pipeline.
Originally designed as Iran–Turkey–Europe pipeline, the project was partly completed despite US pressures. Due to similar US hostilities, Iran's neighboring Pakistani citizens are deprived of merits of natural gas, a reliable, cheap and clean source of energy.
The natural gas of Iran and Turkmenistan is aimed to be transferred to Europe through Turkey via Iran Turkey Europe Natural Gas Pipeline Project. Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the date of 17th of November, 2008 between The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkish Republic and The Ministry of Oil of Islamic Republic of Iran for the transit pass of Iran natural gas over Turkey.
Under scope of the project Turkey can get the natural gas from the pipeline in case of need. Approximate length of the project is around 5.000 km in total. The length of the pipeline in Turkey is around 1750 km. Target annual gas quantity that will be transferred to Europe over Turkey is stated as 35 billion m3.
After the Iran-Turkey gas deal, the Turkish military gradually increased the harshness and frequency of its public warnings to Erbakan's government. After the infamous February, 28 1997 National Security Council meeting orchestrated by the Turkish military, Erbakan was forced to step down. This was sort of a postmodern coup,
Erbakan was banned from political activities until he died on February, 27 2011.