Yağmur Ahmet Güldere
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Turkey to Ukraine
Abstract. The article examines the cooperation of Turkey and Ukraine and its future prospects. It is mentioned that Turkey defined Ukraine as a top-priority partner in 2003, and in 2011, this concept was transformed into a strategic partnership.
It is noted that trade turnover between the two countries currently stands at $4,1 billion. However, a larger volume is eminently achievable, which has prompted the leaders to announce $10 billion as the new benchmark of bilateral trade. Turkish entrepreneurs firmly believe in the future of Ukraine and put huge investments into it. Telecommunications, renewable energy, construction, and agriculture are a few main sectors supported by the Turkish business community, which contributes to strengthening the Ukrainian economy.
The visa free regime between the two countries has led to the upswing of tourism, where the number of visitors has increased to 1,75 million people. With this fact in mind, the two states are taking an ever-growing interest in each other and boost cooperation in the realm of culture. In October 2017, the Yunus Emre Cultural Centre was inaugurated in Kyiv with the aim of providing Turkish classes and cooperating with Ukrainian stakeholders interested in the organisation of cultural events.
It is underlined that Turkey has repeatedly confirmed its respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, namely in respect of Crimea and Donbas. Turkey is also closely cooperating with Ukraine on the international arena, in particular on matters relating to Crimean Tatars.
The article concludes that Turkey and Ukraine have tremendous potential for cooperation and all the necessary tools to bring their bilateral relations to a new level. There are substantial grounds for the trade turnover to reach and even exceed $10 billion, especially if the free trade agreement is concluded. Apart from trade, general bilateral cooperation will encompass more realms, running the gamut from security to culture. The reason for this ambitious statement is not only efforts of the two states in this direction but also a sincere interest of the two nations in cooperation.
Key words: Turkey, cooperation, trade, culture, tourism, security.