EU's free trade agreements 'unfair', says Turkish minister

Turkey's foreign trade minister said Turkish officials had put a wrong signature on the Customs Union agreement with EU in 1996 "mistake cannot last forever"

EU's free trade agreements 'unfair', says Turkish minister

Turkey's foreign trade minister said on Saturday that European Union's (EU) free trade agreements with third countries caused unfair competition.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan commented on the problems between Turkey and EU stemming from free trade agreements.

Caglayan said Turkish officials had put a wrong signature on the Customs Union agreement with EU in 1996 due to several concerns.

"EU now says it was Turkey's fault. We accept that and call them to fix it. A mistake cannot last forever. EU is destroying its own image with its insensitive stance," Caglayan said.

Noting that the union did not have the right to carry on with an implementation that made Turkey suffer from an unfair competition, Caglayan said, "EU should not think of law only when it suits its benefits".

The minister noted that EU's free trade agreements with third countries blocked Turkey's agreement process with these countries due to its Customs Union deal with the EU.

Caglayan said products of the countries that had free trade agreements with EU were sent to Turkey via the union. "Third countries do the right thing according to their own perspective. EU is the party that should solve this issue. We are expecting a step from the union," he said.

Describing the free movement of goods and services as a necessity of liberal economy, Caglayan noted that visa requirements from Turkish businessmen was the biggest obstacle before such movement.

Pointing to the cases won by Turkish businessmen on the matter, Caglayan said EU's persisting on visa implementation despite that fact was unlawful.

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Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2011, 17:28
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