The Ankara Agreement: A Brief Overview
The Ankara Agreement, also known as the Association Agreement between Turkey and the European Economic Community (EEC), was signed in 1963. It established a framework for economic cooperation between Turkey and the EEC, which ultimately paved the way for Turkey`s eventual accession to the European Union.
The agreement included provisions for the gradual liberalization of trade between Turkey and the EEC, as well as the free movement of capital and labor. Under the agreement, Turkish workers were granted the right to work and reside in EEC member countries.
The agreement`s impact on the Turkish economy was significant; it spurred the modernization and growth of Turkey`s private sector and led to increased exports to EEC countries.
In 1987, Turkey formally applied for membership in the EEC, but its bid was initially rejected due to concerns over human rights abuses and Turkey`s military involvement in Cyprus. Despite this setback, Turkey remained committed to the Ankara Agreement and continued to work towards its goal of eventual EU membership.
The Ankara Agreement and Brexit
With the UK`s decision to leave the European Union, one of the key questions that has arisen is the impact on Turkey and its relationship with the UK. As a non-EU member, Turkey is not directly affected by Brexit, but its long-standing ties with the UK are likely to be impacted.
One area of concern for Turkey is the potential loss of access to the UK market. Currently, Turkey benefits from tariff-free access to the UK through its participation in the EU Customs Union. However, with the UK`s departure from the EU, this could change, which would be a blow to Turkey`s economy.
Another area of concern is the status of Turkish citizens residing in the UK. Under the Ankara Agreement, Turkish citizens have the right to work and reside in EU member states, including the UK. However, it`s unknown whether this provision will remain in place following Brexit.
The Ankara Agreement was a significant milestone in Turkey`s relationship with the EU. While Turkey`s bid for EU membership has faced numerous challenges over the years, the agreement remains a cornerstone of its economic ties with Europe. As the UK prepares to leave the EU, Turkey will need to navigate a new landscape and work to maintain its strong relationship with the UK.