Europe needs Turkey

Europe needs Turkey

Trend Arabic News Service Head Rufiz Hafizoglu

Official Ankara officially response to Paris after the lower house of the French Parliament adopted the law on a criminal penalty for the denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
In response to the "humane" decision of the French Parliament, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara imposes the first stage of sanctions, consisting of eight points, against Paris.

These sanctions include Turkish ambassador's withdrawal from France, the freezing of bilateral economic, political and military talks, the ban on the use of Turkish air bases and ports by French military aircrafts and ships without a special permit, the cancellation of a joint Turkish-French meeting on economic issues, the abolition of all military exercises with France.
According to many political analysts, the sanctions imposed at the first stage, will not rather affect on France. Turkey will not seriously respond to the new law for the sake of joining the EU.

But the Turkish growing economy, Ankara's role in the region and the fact that Turkey plays a leading role in European energy security give grounds to say that the imposed sanctions will harm the French economy because Turkey can boycott French goods within the country, even if it is unofficial.
If we consider the volume of total trade turnover, Turkey ranks the eleventh place among the countries importing French goods (6 billion euro) and France - the sixteenth place among the countries importing Turkish goods (5.402 million euro).

The cars produced in France rank first among the goods which France exports to Turkey. The production volume of the French car industry exported to Turkey in 2011 amounted to 761 million euro.

Besides the cars, France exports aircraft engines, pharmaceuticals, plastic raw materials to Turkey.
Turkey exported textile products to the amount of 412 million euro, household appliances worth 292 million euro to France in 2011.

According to the statistics, the volume of investments of 350 Turkish companies operating in France hit $ 500 million. Regarding the tourism sector, the number of French tourists visiting Turkey hit more than 1.250.000 people last year.

However, it is possible that the French companies EDF, GDF Suez and Areva, which plan to participate in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Turkey, may be out of this process.
At present, Turkey is the only country using its geopolitical position. It plays a role of a major transit country in supplying energy resources to Europe. Thus, Turkey plays a significant role in supplying Azerbaijani, Turkmen and Iraqi gas to Europe. Regarding the lack of other alternative transit country for energy supplies to Europe, the latter is in a state of dependence on Turkey.

If we take into account all these facts, despite the lower house of the French Parliament adopted the law on a criminal penalty for the denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide", the Senate is unlikely to adopt the bill directed against Turkey.

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