Turkey's new consensus with the EU over the Customs Union agreement and the EU's recognition of Turkey's demands are major developments. Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said that they agreed with the EU on the following four topics in line with Turkey's demand: Turkey will definitely take part in any decision-making mechanisms; Turkey will automatically be part of any free trade agreement signed between the EU and third countries; the EU will remove all trade obstacles and tariffs that obstruct the free movement of Turkish goods in the EU market that fall within the scope of the agreement; and the EU will include the agriculture, services and public procurement sectors, which were excluded in the 1996 agreement.
The EU's compliance with all of Turkey's requests tells us that if Turkey cannot be a direct part of the U.S.'s and EU's Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement when it fully comes into effect, the TTIP will become obsolete. Otherwise, Turkey would declare its Customs Union agreement with the EU unsustainable. Because, Turkey is the only country that controls middle and southern commercial lines in addition to the line, which starts from Russia and reaches Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway line passing through the Russian mainland.
The Middle Corridor starts from the north of China and reaches Europe passing through Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Turkey. The Southern Corridor starts from Kazakhstan and passes through Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey. When we consider these routes, which will constitute the New Silk Road and connect Asia to Europe, we see that these two corridors are inevitably important for the U.S. and EU within the framework of the TTIP.
In this case, the Middle Corridor is the strongest alternative to the New Silk Road and that is why Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan place great emphasis on the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway line. The construction of this line, which constitutes the major transit of the Middle Corridor, is about to be completed.
The New Silk Road, the Southern Corridor and the Middle Corridor offer important options to the West as follows:
The reality of China and developing Asia should be acknowledged, since it presents a new development paradigm, which has to converge with the West. To achieve this convergence peacefully, economic and political integration is of great importance and this can be ensured only by the lines of the New Silk Road.
Regardless of which route of the New Silk Road is prioritized, Turkey is the key country. Therefore, the whole world should observe Turkey's peace, democracy and stability. Otherwise, instability in Turkey will backfire on the whole world.
The New Silk Road, the Southern Corridor and the Middle Corridor are the only alternatives to Russia in terms of carrying new energy resources to Europe. In this regard, the New Silk Road and the Southern Gas Corridor are constituent of each other and Turkey is a key country here as well.
The routes of the New Silk Road are the only alternative for the expansion of the EU, the solution of the EU crisis and the achievement of world peace. These are the significant commercial realities that lie behind Turkey's renewal of the Customs Union agreement with the EU.
The EU, mainly because of Germany's oppression, tries to hamper Turkey's full membership in the EU. However, this renewal of the Customs Union agreement means that Turkey is within the EU in commercial terms.
I would like to reiterate that the amendment of the Customs Union agreement in line with Turkey's demands is a major step for the EU as well. Because, Turkey is the only alternative to Russia for the EU to reach Caucasian, Iraqi, Iranian and Caspian energy resources and can achieve sustainable energy supply. Furthermore, the EU can overcome its crisis if it expands toward its east and includes Turkey. The amendment of the Customs Union agreement in line with Turkey's demands is a historic step that makes Turkey's full membership in the EU inevitable. Henceforth, the deferral of Turkey's full membership will not harm Turkey, but the EU.
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