Turkey to maintain EU economic relations but review political ties, says Erdogan

By bne IntelliNews March 24, 2017

Turkey will maintain its commercial ties with the European Union but will review its political and administrative ties with the bloc after the April 16 referendum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with CNN Turk on March 23.

Erdogan, however, did not elaborate on measures Ankara might take against Brussels.

Turkey is embroiled in a bitter diplomatic spat with Germany and the Netherlands over the barring of Turkish ministers who wanted to attend rallies to drum up support for a Yes vote in the referendum that would deliver Erdogan an executive presidency.

The EU is Turkey’s largest trading partner, absorbing nearly 50% of Turkish exports. The trade volume between Turkey and the EU stood at $146bn last year.

“We don’t have problems with [European] investors, we have problems with European politicians. Trade and politics are different matters,” Erdogan said.

When asked whether Ankara would also review the migrant deal with the EU, Erdogan said “everything…from A to Z, everything in our relations with the EU will be reviewed.”

Erdogan also stated that he was not planning to visit Germany to attend any political campaign events there. Some German politicians have made it clear he would not be welcome.

Regarding his Nazi remarks, Erdogan said: “I would call them fascists as long as they call me a dictator”.

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