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Turkey may leave EU Customs Union, EUCU harmful for its economy

Turkey may leave EU Customs Union, EUCU harmful for its economy

ANKARA:  The European Union Customs Union (EUCU) membership is harmful to Turkey’s economic interests, the SOCAR Turkey Enerji President Kenan Yavuz said. SOCAR Turkey Enerji is a subsidiary of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company in Turkey.

Yavuz said Turkey needs to reconsider its membership in the EUCU, as Ankara does not need it.

He also noted that Turkey’s economic interests should be taken into account while signing the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership of he EU and the US.

Earlier, Turkish minister for EU affairs, Volkan Bozkir, said Ankara will suspend its membership to the EUCU if its economic interests are not taken into account while signing of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US.

He also said the agreement on Turkey’s accession to the EUCU, which was concluded in 1995, didn’t include an article saying that the EU’s agreements with other countries do not apply to Turkey.

Bozkir said the countries, with regard to which there is a free trade regime with the EU, can export goods to Turkey with zero tariff rates.

The minister said that if the US goods are delivered to the Turkish market free of duty, Turkey can lose up to $2.5 billion-$3 billion.

“If the EU agreement with the US on TTIP is signed, and Turkey at the same time finds itself unprotected, then we will be forced to freeze our membership in the EU Customs Union,” Bozkir said.