top of page
synergy logo.png

Development of Turkey - EU Trade - Nur Durmaz

Although Turkey is not in the European Union, it is an essential place for the EU regarding its geographical location, human workforce, and raw material resources. Turkey-EU relations are solid and sustainable based on a "win-win" strategy. It is possible to see this relationship based on the Ankara Agreement signed between Turkey and the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1963. With this agreement, Turkey-EU trade has advanced one step further. This situation accelerated Turkey's accession to the EEC and enabled the establishment of the Customs Union.

Article 28 of the Ankara Agreement, it is stated that "When the operation of the Agreement shows that Turkey can assume all the obligations arising from the Treaty establishing the Community, the Contracting Parties examine the possibility of Turkey's accession to the Community" and as it is understood from this article, the ultimate goal of this partnership in Turkey's full membership to the EEC. The Additional Protocol, signed on 13 November 1970 and entered into force in 1973, was envisaged to complete the Customs Union and the condition of free movement of industry, agricultural products, and persons between the EU and Turkey, together with the provisions of the Ankara Agreement. The Customs Union is defined as an economic integration between the partners, which removes all kinds of measures with customs duties, taxes, and restrictions with equivalent effect. It provides common customs activities for the parties outside the union.

Free trade among member states is one of the most important advantages of the Customs Union. The customs union was an important step toward economic integration and closer to the single market. However, those concerned about further integration may see this as a disadvantage. The reason for this is the negative relations that may occur with the increase in integration. Examples of this situation are the "spill-over " and "spill-back" effects, which play important roles in the European Union. Spill-over results from policies that aim to harmonize a limited set of international relations but also need other policies to be reconciled. And this effect necessitates the harmonization of other policies as a result of subsequent harmonization. For example, removing tariffs on goods moving across national borders in the European Economic Community further increases the need for the European Commission to harmonize national tax laws and regulations that lead to price discrimination and reduce interstate competition. As this shift from national regulatory autonomy to "supranational regulatory capacity" shows, these are aimed solely at promoting national interests, while transfers of power to Europe cause these interests to express themselves in terms of Europe as a whole. Thus, transfers of power to the supranational level are likely irreversible. The backlash shows that reinforcing the negative consequences of deepening and enlargement improves the European integration process. The expansion will lead to production failures and backlash crises.

This situation will not affect Turkey's approaches toward the EU until the 2010s. Turkey's candidacy for the EU was approved at the 1999 Helsinki Summit, and negotiations were started in 2005. Turkey's complete membership negotiations with Turkey are handled under 35 headings (chapters) according to the Negotiation Framework Document. Only 1 of these chapters has been closed so far. It is the Science and Research chapter which was closed in 2009. Turkey's program of harmonization with the EU acquis was announced in 2007, and legislative changes to be made for alignment with the EU were taken into account with this harmonization program. A guide map was created for a 6-year process. Chapters are audited by the Commission every year, and an evaluation report is sent to the countries.

This report includes what should be used and what needs to be done for the country's development and its accession to the EU. When we look at the trade relations between Turkey and the EU, Turkey is one of the most important trade names of the EU. The EU has provided Turkey with a certain amount of money to keep Turkey on the desired path. The total amount of trading between these two in 2020 is approximately 132.2 billion. While 62.3 billion of this was imported by the European Union, 69.9 billion was imported by Turkey. When we look at the trade areas made by the parties, both sides need each other in mechanization and transportation. Machinery and transportation imported by the EU is 38.5%. This is followed by clothing (13.3%), agriculture, and raw materials (8.5%). Despite this, in the field of transportation and machinery, Turkey is in 4th place with a rate of 9.8% in the countries where the EU imports goods. Turkey, on the other hand, imported 43.8% in this area. Chemicals (18.5%) and fuel and mining products (9.2%) are the areas that dominate Turkish imports after transportation and machinery. However, when we look at the negotiations, Turkey's progress in the transportation and industrial policies is seen only as an average by the EU.

According to the Commission, in 2022, Turkey's prepare a new transport strategy covering all transport modes, in line with the Commission's Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility, to set concrete targets for significant reductions in transport sector emissions by 2030 and 2050; adopt the new rail sector reform and phase out subsidies to the incumbent rail operator: see the European Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Framework Architecture as the inclusive ITS architecture, especially in urban areas.

Turkey is a vital commercial resource for the EU. But Turkey should use what the EU provides more efficiently. There is no transport and transport policy as the Commission had hoped, as the goods received from the EU in transport and machinery are not appropriately used enough. Due to the rising foreign exchange prices and the deterioration in the economy, an unexpectedly large channel emerges for families working with minimum wage, as the goods used for fuel and chemical products are purchased in Euro. Better economic policies should be followed for the further development of Turkey's trade and the satisfaction of the Turkish people.


bottom of page