Turkey is a country poised between Asia and Europe. This country of 71 million people is crucial to economic developments as it lies between producers and consumers, supply and demand. While seen as a bridge between the East and West, this majority Muslim country is also torn between both worlds. Its secular government has a long history of struggles between those who feel their country’s identity lies in the Middle East, those who desire full accession to the European Union (EU), and all those in between. The Turkish government’s main foreign policy goals are to make Turkey an integral part of the European Union
The Turkish government has, in recent years, worked on reforms to liberalize Turkey’s trade relationships and open its markets. Turkey’s main export commodities are apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, and transport equipment. Its main export partner is Germany, who receives 11.3% of Turkey’s exports, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States, France, and Spain. On the import side, it receives the most products from Russia, at 12.8% of total imports, followed by Germany, China, Italy, France, the United States, and Iran. Turkey’s trade with Iran, the other great economic power in the region, is of special interest to those in the United States and elsewhere who are concerned about Iran’s intentions and Turkey’s ability to hedge against Iran in the region.
Turkey has a dynamic and complex economy that has seen strong growth since a devastating economic crisis in 2001 but still faces several major vulnerabilities. The country has used its mindset of modernization to develop competitive commerce and industries in the country, yet struggles to maintain equity between the urban and rural areas. An exceptionally high 35% of its population is still employed in the agricultural sector (compare to 2.8% in Germany, 8.5% in Russia, 0.6% in the United States, etc). The country has seen decreased inflation and strong economic...
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