BUSINESS >Germany has no right to block update of Turkey’s EU customs union: Minister


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Germany has no right to block a planned update of Turkey’s Customs Union with the European Union, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Sept. 7, touching on a simmering row between Ankara and Berlin.

“Germany has no right to block the update of Turkey’s Customs Union deal. Our addressee here is the European Union,” he told journalists in Ankara on Sept. 7, as quoted by Reuters. 

He also noted that there were no problems in Turkey’s negotiations with the EU and the process went on. 

Last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not think it was appropriate to carry out further discussions with Ankara about the Customs Union.

Zeybekci’s comments came after similar comments by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek. 

Late on Sept. 5, Şimşek said Turkey cannot be expelled from the Customs Union even if Germany sought it. He also stated that he believes many countries in the EU will act with common sense.      

‘Tomato issue’

Meanwhile, Zeybekci also said Turkey wanted an issue over tomatoes with Russia to be resolved. 

“There are no Turkish agricultural products banned by Russia other than tomatoes now. We want this issue to be resolved very soon,” he noted. 

Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said last week that Moscow may resume tomato imports from Turkey in small parcels during the winter season when Russian producers are unable to fully cover domestic needs.

“I think we can offer the Turkish side the following options. First of all, to supply tomatoes in winter and early spring when our farmers are unable to supply the Russian market due to the weather,” Tkachev told the Russian state TV Rossiya-24, as reported by Reuters on Aug. 31.


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