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MIDDLE EAST: Turkey to open free trade zone with Arab states

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by Jigs, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Jigs

    Jigs ELITE MEMBER

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    Turkey's east-west balancing act has become considerably more precarious since the deadly Israeli flotilla raid nearly two weeks ago, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears determined to have the best of both worlds.

    He made this clear Thursday when he declared that talk of Turkey's "axis shift" away from the West is "ill-willed propaganda," while simultaneously defending Turkey's vote against Iran sanctions and announcing new free trade agreements with a number of Arab countries.

    "A Turk cannot live without an Arab. An Arab is the Turk's left eye," Erdogan was quoted as telling delegates at the Turkish-Arab Economic forum in Istanbul on Thursday.

    Erdogan also called on Arab countries to take the initiative in breaking the Israeli siege on Gaza, and vowed that Turkey will not to turn a blind eye to Israel's "banditry," referring to the botched flotilla raid that killed nine Turks.

    The free trade zone would include Syria and Jordan, which already have similar agreements in place with Turkey, as well as Lebanon, and would allow for the free movement of goods and services as well as visa-free travel.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu outlined a vision for even greater cooperation for representatives from 22 Arab countries who attended.

    "From Kars [Turkey] to Morocco and Mauritania, from Sinop [Turkey] to Sudan, from the Istanbul Straits to the Gulf of Aden, Turkish and Arab geographies own the most strategic belt of the world," he said. "We want to turn it into a security and economic integration belt. The foreign policy we carry out under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in fact seeks to turn this whole basin into a single basin."

    Davutoglu clarified, however, that Turkey is not seeking an alternative to the European Union, of which it still aspires to become a member.

    Davutoglu's comments will probably not be welcomed by traditional Arab powerhouses Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which, analysts say, have the most to lose from Turkey's ascent as a regional hero state.

    In addition to Turkey's pro-Palestine credentials, it is also financially independent, unlike Egypt, which relies on U.S. aid, and has proven a valuable economic partner.

    Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek reminded delegates at Thursday's forum that trade between Turkey and the Arab world quadrupled between 2002 and 2009, Al Balad reported (Arabic link), while Turkish exports to Iran grew 500 percent over the same period, according to Reuters.

    Turkey's apparent shift eastward and its worsening relations with Israel and, by extension, the U.S. have been cause for consternation in Washington.

    The Economist's Blog has an interesting reading on America's understanding of Turkey's motives, taking on U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' assertion that Turkey's disillusionment with the West can be blamed at least partly on European hostility to its bid to join the EU.

    "Mr. Gates deserves credit for saying out loud what a part of the American foreign-policy establishment has thought for a while," the post read.

    "But, in linking the EU question to Turkish-Israel relations so baldly, Mr Gates appears to be conflating several different things," it continued. "Not to put too fine a point on it, there are several current members of the 27-strong EU who are closer to the Turkish line on Israel than the American line."
     
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  2. Jigs

    Jigs ELITE MEMBER

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    The military really needs to get on with putting this man into the ground.
     
  3. Horus

    Horus ADMINISTRATOR

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    Free Trade zone is great for everyone , i think Turkey and Pakistan should also get into similar agreements as soon as the Iranian situation cools down , that would be a win win situation.
     
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  4. Jigs

    Jigs ELITE MEMBER

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    Turkey and Pakistan (Iran once they come out of the insanity bubble) but no Arab world. Does Erdogan know what happened with the Ottoman empire and the Arab revolt and political ideology ? This is why Governments with islamic undertones don't get it. They have a distorted view of common facts.

    Erdogan can talk all he wants about "oh we are not moving away from the west" but when the U.S. gets back on their conservative track and decides to take turkey off the list of allies we can sit like idiots with our "Arab friends" :hitwall:
     
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  5. Sinnerman108

    Sinnerman108 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Jigs;
    I live in Arabia but being Pakistani I respect turkey more,
    I can fully understand and endorse what you are saying all i am suggesting is
    that an attempt me made to fix things.
    We can not just pack things in a jar and let them rot with fungus ....
    some one has got to inject the medicine some how.
     
  6. Desert Fox

    Desert Fox ELITE MEMBER

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    The Arabs who revolted against the Ottomans were under the spell of Arab Nationalism (most still are even today), and as you can see they are suffering due to their own mistakes and arrogance!

    but you can't blame all Arabs for what happened some 90 years ago ! Most Arabs curse those traitors who betrayed the Caliphate!

    He is going a bit too far in his above comment:disagree:
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  7. Jigs

    Jigs ELITE MEMBER

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    Sorry but maybe around the time of the ottoman empire we could have had something going but we are two different worlds now. (though Erdogan had Saudi Islamic bank worker Gul are trying hard to change that) All i get from this is the Arabs only deal with Turkey when Turkey comes in with Islam on the agenda. That for me is unacceptable. Islam didn't give us a 930 billion dollar GDP with pretty much no oil. I think if Arab states were more like Turkey we can have something going here to be honest i don't think they care unless they want to spread their culture over here.
     
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  8. Jigs

    Jigs ELITE MEMBER

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    That part made me almost spit out my coffee when i read it. This man is very very confused. I also feel sad for my fellow Turk. His party goes around to the poor and offer them Coal for the winter and washing machines and bam! They get the vote(i am not joking about this btw). It is sad how quickly they jump on the AKP Train. Without looking at the long term. Like a group of heroin addicts anything for that next fix and in this case next coal bag.
     
  9. su-47

    su-47 SENIOR MEMBER

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    can you blame the poor for that? just think about it. if you are some poor farmer who is struggling to earn your daily bread, your concern is not for political ideology or 'the greater good'. You will support the guy who helps you in your moment of need, and even if you don't agree with something he does, you might still support him, for he serves your needs. Or at least, promises to do so.

    Politics is a strategic game. People will vote on who they think will benefit them the most, usually in the short term. If the secular party is to win next time, they will have to pick up their game and outdo the religious party in the campaigning.

    But the military stepping in to stop or restrict a democratically elected leader is not correct. It has to be done by the people.
     
  10. file12345

    file12345 FULL MEMBER

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    Woooo what does this line mean.Is turkey making its own European union.Because the bolded part pretty much was the initial European union.
     
  11. KingSparta1990

    KingSparta1990 FULL MEMBER

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    Maybe you should look at yourself first? I think it was a grave mistake by the Arabs to go against the Ottoman Empire and I say it all the time. The thing is if you guys didn't mistreat Arabs than this would never of happened. You forcibly imposed your will on everyone. So you can treat Arabs like dogs but blame them for when they go against you? You brought that upon yourself.

    Please do not act like you Turks acted like Angels because you were hypocrites in every way. If you guys wanted to be a Muslim Empire you would not have treated Arabs like dogs.

    You also FORCIBLY made people fight for you against their will. If they did not want to fight for your corrupt regime, the good ole Ottomans killed them. My grandpa died when he was over 100 years and if he were still alive HE HIMSELF would tell you all the stuff that the Ottomans did to their fellow "Muslim brothers". May he RIP......
     
  12. greatsequence

    greatsequence FULL MEMBER

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    I think he is aiming at something else. At this very moment the neighboring arabs may not provide Turkey much. But I think free trade zone is the future. Possibly Turkey is trying to get most out of its strategic position between east and west.
     
  13. Babur Han

    Babur Han FULL MEMBER

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    I'm not against eceonomic Cooperation with arab World, beside Europe and Asia it's a important Export Market for turkish Products. On the other Side I don't want to see a Military Cooperation between Turkey and the arab World !

    For Economic, Cultural and Military Cooperation I wish Turkey built a Cooperation Council with it's Turkic Brother States and Pakistan. Turkeys Place is in Asia, not in the EU and Middle East !

    I agree to 100 % with your View when America get back on it's Conservative track and take Turkey off from the List of Allies, that arab can not help us !
     
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