Economic and Trade Relations
Turkey has sought closer links with Europe since the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1958. On 12 September 1963, such interest was solidified by the signing of the Ankara Agreement, which aimed to accelerate mutual economic progress, expand trade relations, and reduce the disparity between Turkey and the EEC. Since that time, EU-Turkey economic relations have expanded dramatically. In 1995, the EU-Turkey Customs Union (CU) was implemented and in 1999, Turkey became a candidate country for accession to the European Union. Accession negotiations subsequently commenced in 2005.
Over the course of several decades, Turkey's economy has become closely integrated with the European Union. The EU-Turkey Customs Union and accession negotiations have played a pivotal role in facilitating this integration, which goes beyond the elimination of customs duties and other restrictions on industrial and processed agricultural products. The CU supported Turkey's alignment with the technical elements of the acquis, encouraged the vertical integration of Turkish firms into European production networks, and stimulated the modernization of Turkey's customs administration. Additionally, the ongoing accession negotiations have provided a framework by which Turkey has been able to pursue economic reforms.