May 13 2018

Lifting the curtain on Turkish-EU trade relations: Business as usual

An investigation by Ahval reveals how increasing trade between European companies and Turkey affects political relations between European Union states and the mainly-Muslim nation.

A close examination reveals that while EU leaders express concern about the Turkish government's human right abuses, companies based in the EU are stepping up trade with Ankara and continuing to make more money.

Experts speak to Ahval about how the peculiar complementarity of the EU and Turkey’s economies draws them together, despite strikingly different values on both sides.

Does the EU, which cannot even influence member country Hungary regarding its implementation of the rule of law, really have any sway over Turkey on this matter?

Italian defence companies look at Turkey’s geopolitical centrality and believe that can open the door to new markets for their products in partnership with Turkish firms.

In the last 10 years, trade volume between Italy and Turkey almost doubled, reaching $7.6 billion by December 2017. During the same period, Turkish citizens experienced a significant decline in political rights and civil liberties.

Experts say foreign investors may be willing to ignore human rights violations in Turkey, but authoritarian practices may eventually risk property rights and might come back to haunt them in the end.

The question is do European firms engage in lobbying on behalf of one of their most lucrative clients, Erdoğan, pleading with their governments for his abuses to be tolerated?

Business as usual: In a series of articles Ahval lifts the cover over a dark trade, driven by greed.

Starts this week.