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The Effect of New Turkish Foreign Policy on International Trade

Turkish foreign policy has changed substantially within the last decade. Even though its relationship with the West still has significance, relations with neighboring countries and other countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have improved. This new foreign policy incorporates Turkey’s political and economic aspirations. Its aim is to utilize the country’s economic strength in order to reach political goals while simultaneously using political tools to obtain economic benefits. This study analyzes the effects of the recent change in foreign policy on Turkey’s international trade. Specifically, we investigate the influence of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan’s foreign visits on international trade by using a standard trade gravity model. Statistical analyses imply that Erdoğan’s visits help increase Turkish international trade.

The Effect of New Turkish Foreign Policy on International Trade
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, (R) Shakes Hands With Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan AFP / Adem Altan

Economic interests have always been one of the most important elements of foreign policy. In today’s globalizing world, the significance of economic relations in foreign policy has increased even more, and the success of specific foreign policies is now measured by their economic impact. International trade has become the leading factor in international policy making, especially since the Cold War. In recent decades, policy makers of both developed and developing countries have been able to appreciate the mutual benefits of international trade to importing and exporting countries. In addition, the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other developments in international law have liberalized and greatly reduced the barriers to international trade, thus increasing its volume and importance. 

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