|From 2003 through 2010 vehicle sales in Turkey rose by 70 percent while gasoline and diesel consumption in the same period increased by only 20 percent, recent data have shown.|
| According to Turkish Petroleum Industry Association (PETDER) data, vehicle sales from 2003 to 2010 surpassed fuel consumption in Turkey. The gap was more significant between 2007 and 2010, when total vehicle sales totaled 1.33 million units while fuel consumption fell by 575,000 cubic meters.|
A number of experts cite as the reason for this gap the increase in oil smuggled from neighboring countries and a rise in the use of Number 10 oils, which are used as fuel for tractors and older trucks and added to diesel fuel to lower prices. Turkish Fuel Station, Oil and Gas Company Employers' Union (TABGİS) President Ferruh Temel Zülfikar is one expert who holds this opinion on the gap. “Number 10 oils are cheap. The government should reduce the taxes on gasoline and diesel or prevent the use of these fuels [Number 10 oils],” he told the Today's Zaman on Wednesday. PETDER Secretary-General Erol Metin has expressed similar views, saying that Number 10 oil consumption surpassed 1.5 million tons in 2010.
Other experts underline that oil smuggling and Number 10 consumption can explain the difference between the increasing vehicle sales and lower fuel consumption, but they also say new cars are more fuel-efficient and that higher oil prices keep people from using their cars.