Project Brexit

Turkey

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President

Prime Minister

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (AKP, since 2014)

Binali Yıldırım (AKP, since 2016)

Population 79.51 million
Size 783,562 km² (302,535 sq. miles)
Next Presidential election

Next legislative election

2019

2019

Last meeting with Theresa May 28 January 2017
Relationship with UK In light of the attempted coup in Turkey last year, followed by the Government’s crackdown, Theresa May highlighted the value of democracy, human rights and rule of law. The countries also signed a £100m fighter jet deal and talked about the conflict in Syria, terrorism and security. In terms of trade, the leaders agreed to establish a joint working group to start talking about a future bilateral trade deal that could be signed soon after Brexit.
What Mr Erdoğan said on Brexit 25 June 2016

I see this decision made by the people of Britain as the beginning of a new era for Britain and the EU.”

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci on 9 March 2017

“But what is important for Turkey is that the U.K. is our second biggest partner in exports within the EU and across the globe. It is a market we reach a net trade deficit. It is important that we put in force a multi-scope free trade agreement with the U.K. as soon as it leaves the EU and the customs union ends”

Turkey’s priorities President Erdoğan’s priority is to deal with the aftermath of last year’s attempted coup. One of the measures he plans to take is to reform the constitution. He won a referendum on 16 April, asking the people whether or not the powers of the President’s office should be extended. Opponents fear this is a move to authoritarianism and European leaders prevented Turkish representatives from campaigning for the referendum on EU soil.

This had lead to an increase of tension between Turkey and many EU countries, including Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. Some of these countries as well as the European Parliament have called to suspend Turkey’s accession talks for EU membership.

Furthermore, Turkey also has a particular involvement in the war in Syria. Kurdish groups, supported by the international coalition led by the United States to fight so-called Islamic State, are regarded by the Turkish Government as a terrorist group. This makes the dynamics around this war and the relationship between Turkey and NATO allies more complicated.

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