Right before the New Year, Turkey and Japan signed a cooperation memorandum that the two sides hope will lead to the construction of a nuclear power plant in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Sinop. If realized, the Japanese-built nuclear power plant would be the second in Turkey, which is seeking to lessen its dependence on external energy sources. The first plant, which is also not yet built, will be in the southern area of Akkuyu, and is the result of a cooperation agreement with Russia. The Turkish government is hoping that both plants will be fully operational by 2023. However, the planned nuclear power plants have come under much public scrutiny, particularly by civil society groups, because of the risks they pose as Turkey is prone to devastating earthquakes.