Turkish analyst: Iran-Turkish economic ties "booming"

Iran Materials 6 December 2006 12:07 (UTC +04:00)

(IRNA) - Relations between Iran and Turkey have been going well since 1999 and "economic relations are booming," according to Soli Ozel, professor of international relations at Bigli University in Istanbul.

"Cooperation and amicable ties are defining what goes on. Both countries have interest in making sure that Iraq remains in one piece and both countries have an interest in not having an independent Kurdish state," Ozel told IRNA in an interview in Brussels, where he participated in an international conference on the Iran nuclear issue on Tuesday.

Turkey, he said, does not want Iran to develop nuclear arms as that would lead to regional instability, reports Trend.

"On the other hand, we do not want Iran to be bombed at or sanctions imposed on. So Turkey is doing what it can to build trust between Iran and the West," said Ozel, noting that Turkey is an EU candidate country and a neighbor of Iran.

Commenting on EU-Turkey relations, Ozel, who is also an editor of the Turkish daily Sabah, said the EU will face a serious crisis with EU countries that want membership talks with Turkey to continue and those who oppose it.

He said the Muslim factor does play a role in the European opposition to Turkey's EU membership.

"Turkey's current economic situation plays a larger role. The Islam part is easier to mobilize public opinion against Turkey," he said.