Hollande wants to sell weapons, nuclear energy, drugs etc. to Turkey.
His first official visit after his official break up with Trierweiler.
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
Hollande’s commendations have impressed the Erdogan government during his official visit to Ankara. In an attempt to restore the French-Turkish relationships, which had deteriorated during the Nikola Sarkozi term, to a good level the French President wanted to show that France supports Turkey on all levels.
Upon his arrival to the turkish Capital, photographers “fought” for a picture of the French President during his first official visit after his recent break up with his partner, Valerie Trierweiler.
Hollande, who is the first president to make an official visit to Turkey after 22 years, has signed important agreements in the energy, defense, and construction sectors with Turkey. Sarkozy had visited Turkey in 2011, but his visit was not official. Hollande tried to approach the turkish government pointing out that “Turkey is a great country, with a big development rate, a small public debt, and its industry show a big potential. At present, our investments in both countries reach €9 billion and we want to reach €20 billion in the foreseeable future”.
The president of France showed signs that Parish will remove the obstacles it had put to previous chapters of Turkey’s EU integration negotiations and after his meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, stated that he is in favor of the continuation of the EU integration negotiations. “The conclusion of the negotiations of course does not automatically mean integration. It will be followed by a referendum, but the negotiations must continue”, Ollande said, without making any comments in regard to the obstacles that Turkey sets to Cyprus.
Gul found the opportunity to point out that Turkey on its part might not want to be integrated to the EU. “We do not want to have political obstacles in the negotiations” he stressed and implied that after the conclusion of the negotiations the Turkish people might not want an integration. “Maybe the Turkish people will then want a formula similar to that of Norway”, Gul stated.
The president of France also thanked Turkey “for having welcomed 700,000 refugees from Syria, while it could have closed down its borders for security reasons”. Gul stresses that the refuges cost Turkey $2.5 billion.
The two leaders stated that France and Turkey will cooperate on the matter of security that results from the existence of extremist islamic elements in Syria.
The subject that causes tensions to the french-turkish relationships is the recognition of the Genocide of Armenians and the criminalization of its denial. Hollande stated that the laws will be applied, meaning that anyone who refuses the existence of the Armenians’ genoside will be arrested; a statement which Gul did not particularly like.
Hollande wants to “invade” to the Turkish Market
The French President sees the Market of Turkey and considers the financial relations between the two countries as a way to contribute to the growth of the french economy.
At present, 400 french companies, which employee 100,000 people, are active, with the french companies in 2013 having sold $15 billion-worth of wares in Turkey. They are also part of consortiums, like the 117 Airbus type aircrafts that the turkish Airlines have bought, the 19 rescue helicopters, Eurocopter, the 6 million vaccines of Sanofi-Pasteur etc. However, the share of the french companies to the commercial transactions with Turkey has dropped from 6.3% in 2002 to 3.6%, so Hollande attempts to increase the financial cooperation with Turkey.
According to information, the French President is exerting pressure to the turkish government to cancel the tendering for the long range anti-aircraft system, which was won by China, and asks for the proclamation of a new one so that the French-Italian consortium can win.
At the same time, an agreement on the energy sector was signed between the two countries, according to which, France and Japan will construct Turkey’s second nuclear station that will be built in Samsun.