Turkish PM urges trade envoys to be 'prepared for setbacks' with EU countries

Turkish PM urges trade envoys to be 'prepared for setbacks' with EU countries

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has urged the country’s trade envoys to closely watch potential consequences of Turkey’s review of its Customs Union agreement with the European Union, which has been put under scrutiny amid EU-U.S. free trade talks.

“Our president, ministers and I always tell both the EU and U.S. authorities that if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement is signed without Turkey, we will open the Customs Union to discussion as well,” Davutoğlu said, addressing the Third Trade Undersecretaries meeting held at the Economy Ministry in Ankara on Jan. 5.

“Therefore, each of you should plan in advance how our relations with each country would be affected in such a situation and present the right analysis to us,” he added.

Turkey has been voicing its concern over a number of FTAs signed by the EU, especially the under-negotiation TTIP between the EU and U.S. However, the EU has been reluctant to address the problem directly, insisting the issue should be settled through a separate Turkish-U.S. deal. Within this respect, Davutoğlu tasked trade envoys with protecting Turkey’s rights by closely monitoring Customs Union regulations.

He also called representatives to prepare for a "potential crisis" and study the possible impact of this crisis on relations with individual EU countries.