Turkey to raise custom gates with Iraq to four despite ISIL insurgency
The Habur border gate served as the only gate between Turkey and Iraq for years. DHA PhotoTurkey will raise the number of custom gates with Iraq to four in order to feed the increasing demand triggered by surging trade with its neighbor, Customs and Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli has announced, despite the ongoing insurgency in Iraq.
Iraq, one of the major destinations for Turkish exporters, has been grappling with an extreme rise of violence since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized swathe parts of the country, dashing a blow to Iraqi-Turkish trade.
However, confident that the trade between countries is recovering in defiance of the ongoing chaos in Iraq, Canikli said projects are underway to open two new border gates, in addition to a completed gate, which raises the number of operating gates to two.
“The Üzümlü border gate has begun its operations and Derecik gate will begin soon; while we are preparing to open the Ovaköy gate,” Canikli told state-run Anadolu Agency.
The Habur border gate, through which 1.6 million vehicles pass annually, has not been able to meet demands for trade between Iraq and Turkey, which now have a trade volume worth $12 billion a year.
Canikli also announced plans to construct a third bridge at the Habur gate have begun. He said the traffic volume at Habur had reached 4,000 vehicles daily and the authorities expect this number to rise in defiance of the rising security concerns.
“The upper limit has been reached. Despite the developments and instability in the region, our exports and trade are continuing to rise every day. We expect a steeper rise in the upcoming period. That’s why we are raising the number of gates with Iraq,” he said.