Turkey and Italy have signed nine bilateral cooperation agreements in several fields, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said after he and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi held the third intergovernmental summit between the two countries.
In his speech to the Italian Senate in May, Draghi commented on his plans to travel to Turkey and the purpose of his visit, saying, “I will be in Ankara for the bilateral summit with Turkey in early July, the first such summit in 10 year. At this meeting, we will discuss the negotiation and diplomatic possibilities of the conflict in Ukraine and the strengthening of relations between Italy and Turkey.
According to a statement released by Draghi’s office ahead of his trip to Turkey, “The meeting is part of the overall revitalization of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, which is already very intense on various fronts. Especially after the start of the war in Ukraine, contacts between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries continue uninterrupted.”
The intergovernmental summit between Italy and Turkey had been held twice before, in 2008 and 2012. Italian ministers of foreign affairs, interior, defence, economic development and ecological transformation also attend the summit held for the third time in Ankara.
At the summit, items on the international agenda such as the war in Ukraine, the related food crisis and Libya will be discussed. In addition, migrant boats arriving from Turkey to Italy will also be among the priority issues. The Italian government said that in 2021 the number of migrants arriving in Italy via Turkey from the Eastern Mediterranean route had more than tripled.
During the intergovernmental meeting, it was stated that the parties plan to sign agreements and memorandums of understanding in many areas, from sustainable development to the recognition of driving licenses, and that Rome and Ankara aim to cooperate in a range of fields, from external relations and defense to support micro, small and medium enterprises.
Draghi’s office stressed that Rome has been working for many years to encourage a constructive approach towards Turkey within the EU, adding that the Ankara summit is an important opportunity to strengthen dialogue with the EU. ‘Europe.
Turkey’s relationship with Italy dates back to the time of the Ottoman Empire, which had close ties with Italian city-states like Genoa and Venice. In fact, relations between the Ottoman Empire and Venice date back to 1381. Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Italy were established in 1856.
Today, Turkey and Italy are two regional powers that share common interests, a common history and common values in the Mediterranean basin. In this respect, Turkish-Italian bilateral relations should be defined as a strategic partnership.
Turkey and Italy are working together to find solutions to regional and global problems. From Afghanistan to Lebanon, the two countries are cooperating to bring peace and stability to a vast geography.
Italy is currently Turkey’s fourth largest trading partner. Current areas of cooperation include energy, defense industry, tourism, infrastructure, automotive and chemicals; but there is still great potential to further develop economic and trade relations.
As a founding member of the European Union, Italy supports Turkey’s EU membership. It is widely accepted in Italy that as an important and reliable regional power, Turkey will make important contributions to the European Union and help the bloc become a truly global power.
There are three important platforms for exchanging views on different dimensions of Turkish-Italian relations: the Turkey-Italy Intergovernmental Summits, the Turkish-Italian Forum and the Turkish-Italian Media Forum. The second Turkey-Italy Intergovernmental Summit was held in Rome on May 8, 2012. The Eighth Turkish-Italian Forum and the Third Turkish-Italian Media Forum were held in Istanbul on November 24-25, 2011 and July 4, 2010, respectively. These platforms also contribute to the institutionalization of bilateral relations.
Bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Italy increased to $21.3 billion in 2011. The number of Italian companies operating in Turkey exceeded 900. They are engaged in various sectors ranging from transport, banking and telecommunications to construction, electronics and pharmaceuticals. The total amount of Italian direct investment in Turkey exceeded $4.5 billion. Given the level of economic and trade relations, Turkey expects more direct investment from Italy and encourages Turkish companies to increase their presence in Italy. Currently, 44 Turkish companies operate in Italy. The total amount of Turkish investments is around 140 million euros ($144 million).