European markets no longer priority for Turkey

European markets no longer priority for Turkey

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced economic plans for 2015 at the third conference of trade advisers, conducted by the Ministry of Economy of Turkey Jan. 5.

The minister said that since 2008, progress has been made in many areas, and stressed that the work should be continued, urging Turkish businessmen to invest in neighboring countries.

Indeed, 2008 was very important for the Turkish economy. It is namely in 2008 that Ankara refused to sign a new loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund. This was a major achievement for Turkey, which is working to raise the country's economy.

The speech of Davutoglu attracted attention with the fact that Turkey will focus on three regions - the African countries, countries of Asia and Latin America.

Prime minister stressed that in the period of adverse conditions on European markets, Turkey began to enter the markets of neighboring countries, and the markets of Africa and Latin America during the political crisis in neighboring countries.

Taking into account the growing strength of Turkey in the region, the speech of Davutoglu about European markets and the statement made on the same day by the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu about what Turkey considers the misguided and far from sound logical steps' taken to delay Turkey's membership in the EU can be seen as a message to Europe in accordance with ttoday's realities.

Certainly, Turkish officials have made such statements about the EU before. The most recent one was the statement by the Minister for EU Affairs of Turkey, Volkan Bozkir saying the negotiations between Turkey and the EU cannot be continued in the format the EU demands. Bozkir also said, "the EU implements an arrogant policy towards Turkey", which is unacceptable for the country.

Indeed, the insincerity of the European Union regarding this issue is apparent in its relations with Turkey. Although Turkey has carried out a package of 168 reforms for achieving full membership of the EU since 2005, the latter continues to try to appease Ankara with only talk about membership.

Membership in the EU is most important for Turkey to promote its further democratization.
Although Ankara is building its relations with the EU on the basis of democracy and human rights, this organization appears undecided as to which principles it will build its relations with Turkey, and this is one of the main problems between the two sides.

Turkey is a member of the EU Customs Union and if the EU and the US sign an agreement on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), this will certainly damage Turkey.
If the agreement is signed, US goods will be delivered to the Turkish market free of duty, meaning a loss of billions of dollars for Ankara.

Turkey will possibly withdraw from the EU Customs Union if this agreement is signed. And, be it as it may, Turkey will start seeking alternatives to EU sooner or later if it hasn't already set its sights on other parts of the world, and beyond the progress they have made in neighboring markets.

Whatever happens, Ankara is unlikely to write off the European market. And, we can say that 2015 will be a year of diplomatic and economic mobilization in Turkey, as the country will by all means continue to strengthen its economy.

Edited by CN

Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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