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World > Middle East > Turkey > Foreign Relations (Notes)

Turkey - Foreign Relations (Notes)


FOREIGN RELATIONS
Turkey's primary political, economic, and security ties are with the West, although some voices call for a more 'Eurasian' orientation.


Turkey entered NATO in 1952 and serves as the organization's vital eastern anchor, controlling the straits leading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and sharing a border with Syria, Iraq, and Iran. A NATO headquarters is located in Izmir. Besides its relationships with NATO and the EU, Turkey is a member of the OECD, the Council of Europe, and OSCE. Turkey also is a member of the UN and the Islamic Conference Organization (OIC). In December 1999, Turkey became a candidate for EU membership. On December 17, 2004, the EU decided to begin formal accession negotiations with Turkey in October 2005.


Turkey and the EU formed a customs union beginning January 1, 1996. The agreement covers industrial and processed agricultural goods. Turkey is harmonizing its laws and regulations with EU standards. Turkey adopted the EU's Common External Tariff regime, effectively lowering Turkey's tariffs for third countries, including the United States.


On October 3, 2005, Turkey and the EU reached agreement for Turkey to begin negotiations on accession to the European Union. Turkey and EU officials have begun the process of screening Turkey's laws and policies in order to begin negotiating the individual chapters required for ultimate EU accession.


Turkey opened and provisionally closed in 2006 one EU negotiating chapter on science and technology. Another chapter on statistics was opened in February 2007, and two more are expected to be opened by July 1, 2007. Eight chapters, mostly related to trade, were suspended by the European Council in December 2006 after Turkey declined to open its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels--a commitment Turkey made as part of the Ankara Protocol and its EU Customs Union membership.


Turkey is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It has signed free trade agreements with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Israel, and many other countries. In 1992 Turkey and 10 other regional nations formed the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Council to expand regional trade and economic cooperation. Turkey chaired BSEC in 2007 and hosted in Istanbul the 15th BSEC Summit in June 2007.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Turkish Lira Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Turkish Lira Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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