Turkey’s ceasefire last month with the Kurdish militant group PKK could boost its trade partnerships multilaterally, as increasing prospects for stability in the region bring economic opportunities in the Middle East and Africa.
The halt in the decades-long armed campaign came on March 21 after the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Abdullah Ocalan, sent a letter with the announcement from the island prison cell where he has been held since 1999 when he was arrested for treason.
Although the main pro-Kurdish party has recently poured doubt on the veracity of Ocalan’s statement, the prospect of greater stability in the troubled border region with Iraq could pave the way for greater trade security and pay dividends for investors.
Now that the Turkish economy is pacing along, perhaps not with so much gusto as a few years ago, but with a young and increasingly tech-savvy population and inflation levels at relatively low levels, peace progressions with the PKK could also help the country’s prospects.
Part of Turkey’s trade is made bilaterally to the West, but increasingly it is made multilaterally with Africa, the Middle East and in particular Iraq, the second largest destination for Turkish exports in 2011, according to EU data.