Turkish Iran oil imports edge higher in March

* Receives four tankers with Iranian oil in March

* Volumes 15 pct higher than in previous months

* Still far below imports before sanctions

LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - Turkey imported 114,000 barrels

per day of Iranian oil in March, 15 percent more than the

average of the past six months but still far below the levels

Ankara used to buy from Tehran before European Union's sanctions

came into force last year.

Shipping data obtained by Reuters showed Turkey's terminal

of Aliaga received two tankers with Iranian crude last month,

carrying 145,000 tonnes and 53,000 tonnes.

The terminal at Tutunciftlik imported oil in two tankers,

carrying 140,000 and 145,000 tonnes.

That brings the total imported by Turkey last month to

483,000 tonnes or 114,000 bpd, 15 percent higher than imports

from September to February when the average was around 100,000


Last year, Ankara effectively halved imports of Iranian oil

after the European Union oil embargo against Iran came into full

force on July 1, which also targeted the marine insurance

sector, cutting off the usual avenues for tanker insurance.

Turkey was twice granted a waiver on Iranian oil by the

United States for 180 days after Ankara made initial cuts.

It remains one of the largest customers for Iranian oil

together with Asian buyers such as China, India, South Korea and


A provision of U.S. sanctions, made law last summer and

implemented from Feb. 6, also tightened control on sales of

precious metals to Iran.

(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by James Jukwey)