Turkey - International cooperation



Turkey is a charter member of the UN, having joined on 24 October 1945, and belongs to ECE and all the nonregional specialized agencies. In December 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the former EEC; Turkey applied in 1987 for membership in the EC, including full membership in the EEC, but the application was opposed by Greece (unanimous consent of all EEC—now EU—members is required for admission). Talks on Turkey's accession to the EU were delayed until December 2004. Turkey is also a member of the WTO and a member of the Council of Europe, NATO, and OECD.

Relations with the United States, Turkey's principal aid benefactor, were strained during the 1970s over the Cyprus issue. After the Turkish military forces, using US-supplied equipment, had occupied the northern third of the island, the US Congress in 1975 embargoed military shipments to Turkey in accordance with US law. In response, Turkey abrogated its 1969 defense cooperation agreement with the United States and declared that it would take over US military installations in Turkey (except the NATO base at Adana). The US government then relaxed the arms embargo and finally ended it in 1978, after which Turkey lifted its ban on US military activities. Turkish-US relations improved markedly thereafter, and a new defense and economic cooperation agreement between the two countries was signed in 1980. In 1986, the 1980 agreement was renewed, allowing the United States to use some 15 Turkish military bases in exchange for continuing military and economic subsidies. Turkey's once state-directed economy is a mix of modern industry and commerce and village agriculture and crafts. The trend towards urbanization, however, is clear as farmers and towns people are increasingly drawn to industrial cities like Istanbul, Denizli, and Bursa. From 1980 to 1999 state control of the manufacturing sector decreased from 41% to 22% as the number of public enterprises fell from 400 to 300, and private enterprises increased from 8300 to 11,000. Private sector employment increased from 64% to 88% of the labor force. However, the state remains in majority control of the utility sector— telecommunications, electricity generation and distribution, and gas distribution—steel manufacturing, petroleum refining, mining, transportation and agricultural processing, though the government is under considerable international pressure to proceed with privatization. Turkey also has a large black economy that some analysts estimate to be as large as 25–50% of the official economy. The government's continued subsidies to state economic enterprises (SEEs) and its inability to tax the "unofficial" segment of the economy contributed to large budget deficits that most analysts identify as Turkey's primary impediment to sustained economic growth.

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