Turkey shifts from Europe to Asia

Turkey shifts from Europe to Asia

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

Turkey no longer dreams today of joining the European Union, a dream that they cherished for many years.

The Turkish government in recent years has repeatedly stated that the EU carries out the policy of double standards against Ankara. These statements are becoming justified.

This attitude has led to the fact that Ankara had to reconsider its priorities with respect to the EU. The fact that along with the continuation of negotiations on EU accession, Turkey has not stopped the search for alternative structures is a good example of that.

Against the background of negotiations on accession to the EU, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to China that Turkey intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

This statement indicates that Turkey is no longer interested in the EU as before. Earlier, one of the most powerful figures of Turkey's political elite, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc earlier said that Turkey's accession to EU has lost its attractiveness for the country's citizens.

The negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU were resumed in 2005.

What does EU lose by refusing to accept Turkey's membership?

First, Turkey is one of the most powerful militaries in the region. Moreover, this country has a rapidly growing economy. That's to say, as distinct from several EU members, Turkey is not a country with poor economic conditions.

Moreover, Turkey aims to become the region's energy hub and we can say that it has partially achieved this goal over the past 13 years.

Moreover, Turkey is a secular Muslim country which allows it to play an important role in the interfaith dialogue.

Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir previously urged EU to start a new phase of talks that began in May 2015.

Earlier, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that the European Commission is considering the issue of modernization of EU-Turkey Customs Union.

Indeed, the modernization of this union is more important than starting the economic dialogue between the two sides.

Turkey signed a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and therefore, it is obliged to reduce customs duties for EU countries. In addition, the EU and the US intend to sign Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement which will first of all damage Turkey's interests.

Once this agreement signed, the US products will be delivered to Turkish markets free of duty which means billions of dollars of loss for Ankara.

The negotiations on TTIP started in July 2013 and nine rounds have been held to date. It is expected that the US and EU will resolve the issue of signing the TTIP agreement.

That's to say, Ankara well understands that alongside with benefits, the accession to EU is also fraught with serious risks for its economy.

---

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

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