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Trading Freedom for Stability, Turkey Strengthens EU Ties

MIN READJun 29, 2017 | 10:58 GMT

The country is drifting further from the European Union on ideological and political matters. But as Ankara prioritizes the short-term goal of avoiding financial crisis, it will make the decision to upgrade its trade deal with the bloc.

(Sharrocks/iSTOCK/Getty Images)

Not for the first time, Turkey is facing a dilemma about how to best protect its interests. Toward the end of June, the country is expected to begin negotiations with the European Union about a possible upgrade to their existing trade arrangement. Under the current deal, Turkey is a member of the European Union Customs Union but has no say over the bloc's trade deals. Both sides have found the agreement lopsided and dysfunctional. But Turkey's decision to upgrade the deal, rather than limit it, may come as a surprise to some. Turkey's future opportunities largely lie away from Europe, in Asia and the Middle East. But instead of breaking free from a restrictive EU trade deal to explore them, Turkey will satisfy short-term needs by tying itself closer to its rich western neighbors, though perhaps not for long....

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