Pain at the Pump

I know oil and gas prices are on a lot of people’s minds these days. As the price of oil flirts with over $100 a barrel and oil hungry countries continue to dangle under the puppet strings of OPEC, the price of fuel (petrol) in many countries has never been higher. We have had the luxury of driving through some parts of the world where petroleum is exported and in turn, the price of fuel has been quite reasonable. On the other hand, we have driven through some countries who are heavily dependent upon petroleum imports and well, the price of fuel reflects this. Now comes Turkey.

Situated in the Middle East and sharing a common border with such countries as Syria, Iraq and other heavy hitters in the region, we did not expect it to cost too much to fill up our tanks in Turkey. Unfortunately, we heard horror stories of sky high fuel prices from other motorists we have encountered… “$7 a gallon, $8 a gallon!” Upon our arrival in turkey, it did not take long to confirm that they indeed have ridiculously high fuel prices.  In fact, Turkey just happens to have the highest priced fuel in the entire world. Since we have to cover about 900 miles to get out of Turkey and into Bulgaria and since we have not one but two 5,500cc V8’s to do it in, means that Turkey is going to hurt the old TWBR wallet.


Image courtesy of American Statesman

Just how much is fuel here in Turkey you may ask? Well, Turkey only seems to have 95 octane fuel available and at 3.08 Turkish Lira per liter, that works out to about $9.85 a gallon… nearly $10 bucks! It costs us nearly $250 to fill up just one of the trucks and we have had to gas up twice already. The main reason for the high price of fuel here is not supply, but taxes the government has imposed on petroleum products. I do not know what the goal behind the heavy taxation is because there is still a lot of traffic on the roads. People in Turkey are not being discouraged from driving even if they have to take a mortgage out on their house to do so. In any regard, Turkey is the gateway to Europe and overall, the top ten most expensive countries to fill up in are all European, so we were somewhat prepared but it still does not numb the pain we are feeling at the pump right now. At least in the U.K., we only have to shell out $7 a gallon.