Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday announced plans to build three nuclear power plants by 2015 to meet Turkey's growing energy needs.
"As a country whose energy consumption is increasing rapidly, we want to benefit from nuclear energy as soon as possible," Erdogan told an energy conference in Istanbul. "We foresee the building of three nuclear power plants by 2015, reaching a 5,000-megawatt capacity."
Turkey hopes its peaceful nuclear ambitions will receive the backing of Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who will visit Ankara July 6-9. Turkey has repeatedly urged Iran to be transparent about its controversial nuclear program - which some fear is aimed at producing weapons rather than power - while stressing that countries should be free to seek nuclear energy for peaceful use.
Turkey plans to build the first plant near the Black Sea port city of Sinop.