Turkey still hopeful about ‘mutually beneficial’ Customs Union update with EU: PM Yıldırım
AA photoTurkey still believes that an update of the Customs Union deal with the EU, from which the economies of all sides have benefited over the years, can be achieved, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, amid a bitter ongoing row between Ankara and Germany.
“Turkey is the only candidate for the European Union membership within the Customs Union area. Thanks to this deal, our mutual trade volume has reached the $146 billion level. We aim to double this volume by updating our Customs Union deal with the EU. We believe this can be achieved,” Yıldırım said on Aug. 21 during a visit to Singapore.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had stated earlier that Berlin would not pursue an update of the Customs Union with Ankara.
“We are not opening new chapters in Turkey’s [EU] accession bid and we have lowered membership preparation aid to a minimum. Also, for the time being, the Customs Union deal with Turkey will not be changed or updated,” Merkel said.
In response, Yıldırım said on Aug. 18 that Ankara was not pushing for an update of the Customs Union.
Speaking to reporters after Friday prayers in the capital Ankara, he also said the Customs Union update is “not an issue Germany can decide on unilaterally.”
“The Customs Union is not a unilateral agreement. Turkey is not in the mood to suggest a change in the Customs Union as soon as possible. Turkey will make a decision according to what its interests require. No matter what happens, we are not in a situation that aches for an update of this Customs Union. They should not worry or get too excited,” Yıldırım said.