The government is expanding the scope of Turkish commercial ties to cover the entire world, with top officials meeting their counterparts from across the world to institute the new vision. Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci visited Brussels on Friday to hold official talks with European Union officials with the aim to update the customs union agreement, ensure Turkey's involvement in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and discuss possible alternative solutions for the highway quota issue.
The Turkish government made itself very clear about the TTIP by saying it would not maintain the current customs union agreement with the EU if it was isolated from the talks. Europe is Turkey's principle commercial partner and any change in the customs union agreement is seen as a major threat to bilateral trade. Additionally, Turkish officials have voiced their resolve to initiate countermeasures if excluded from TTIP.
Turkey is also holding talks with Japan on a possible customs agreement, in addition to discussing ways to remove trade barriers with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking during his visit last month, praised Turkey for prioritizing its trade ties over the political pressure exerted by others.
Speaking at last week's Third Commercial Counselors' Conference, which brings all Turkish commercial councilors stationed around the world together, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the area that requires the government's focus is now global, by rephrasing the famous quote of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, "There is no defense line, there is a defense area. This area is the whole country." On Saturday, Zeybekci cited the speech of Davutoğlu while addressing businessmen in Denizli. "There is no defense line in trade and economy, there is a defense area. This area is the entire world. Every place including the most remote corner of the world has an economic value for us. Turkey is now on another level; we support investments made abroad and Turkish investors abroad," he said.