Turkey - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Agreements

Describes bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that this country is party to, including with the United States. Includes websites and other resources where U.S. companies can get more information on how to take advantage of these agreements.

Last published date: 2020-10-07

Turkey, as a party to the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), conducts Free Trade Agreements in line with Article XXIV of GATT 1947. According to this Article, Turkey may grant favorable treatment to its trading partners within a customs union or a free trade area without extending such treatment to all WTO Members, subject to certain conditions.

Without prejudice to WTO provisions, the Turkey-EU Customs Union constitutes the major legal basis of Turkey’s free trade agreements (FTA). Under the Customs Union, Turkey aligns its commercial policy with the EU’s Common Commercial Policy. This alignment concerns both autonomous regimes and preferential agreements with third countries. Turkey negotiates and concludes free trade agreements with third countries in parallel with the EU. Together with the EU Common Customs Tariff, the preferential trade regimes constitute the most important part of the trade policy applied towards third countries.

Turkey has concluded FTAs with 36 countries; however, 11 were repealed upon their accession to the EU. The remaining 20 FTAs in force are with EFTA, Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Palestine, Tunisia, Kosovo, Morocco, Egypt, Albania, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia, Chile, Mauritius, South Korea, Malaysia, Moldova, Faroe Islands, Singapore and Kosovo. Additional FTAs signed with Lebanon, Sudan, Qatar, Ghana and Venezuela have not yet been ratified. Turkey has also updated and deepened the scope of its existing FTAs with EFTA, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Negotiations to do the same with Georgia and Malaysia are ongoing.

Lastly, Turkey and the United Kingdom established a Working Group following the latter’s withdrawal from the EU to sustain the current bilateral market access structure in the short term, and to establish a deep and comprehensive FTA in the medium to long term.

The Turkey-EU Customs Union eliminated custom duties, quantitative restrictions and measures having an equivalent effect in the trade of industrial goods to ensure the free movement of goods. As a result of the Customs Union, Turkey opened its internal market to EU and third-country competition, while guaranteeing its exporters free access to the EU market. In addition, Turkey has undertaken to align itself to the preferential regimes that the EU applies to third countries and to harmonize its legislation with the EU’s acquis communautaire in a wide spectrum of areas, including standards and technical legislation, as well as competition policies. Trade in agricultural products, however, is managed in the framework of the preferential system between the Parties; while trade in iron and steel products is governed by the Free Trade Agreement between Turkey and the European Coal and Steel Community.

While negotiations to update the Customs Union were launched several years ago, talks are stalled by ongoing political tensions.

A Tax Treaty Agreement between the United States Government the Government of Turkey for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income, together with a related Protocol, was signed in 1996. See the full tax treaty here.