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
“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.