An attempted coup late Friday in Turkey could cause the price of gasoline and oil to drastically increase in America.
Elements of Turkey’s army claimed to have seized power, flew warplanes over the Turkish capital of Ankara and had tanks blockade roads in Istanbul. The military cited increased autocratic rule by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and increased terrorism for its power seizure. The situation in Turkey is extremely fluid and unstable.
Turkey is a vital transport hub for oil, and moves much of Russia and Iraq’s petroleum to the Mediterranean Sea for export. Millions of barrels of oil travel through the nation’s waterways and pipelines each day. Roughly 2.9 million barrels of oil passed through the Turkish Straits, including the Bosporus and Dardanelles in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Turkey does not directly sell much oil to America, but petroleum is a globally traded commodity.
Gas prices in America today are at their lowest point in decades, largely because the oil currently costs roughly $47 per barrel. As recently as 2011, comparatively minor political tensions in Libya caused the price of oil to pass $120 a barrel. While during much greater tensions from the rise of Islamic State as well as Saudi Arabia and three other Sunni nations cutting diplomatic ties with Iran, the price remains below $30 a barrel.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim claims his government was still in control and will resist efforts by the military to take over. Erdogan used the app Facetime to go on television via his cell phone to ask his supporters to take to the streets to oppose the coup.
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