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France-Turkey Relations

With the open market conditions (for industrial products) set off with the EU-Turkey Customs Union starting in 1996, trade figures between France and Turkey were boosted by two and a half fold during the ensuing five years, reaching 5.8 billion Dollars in 2000, and with France registering a clear surplus. Turkey became France's third largest trade partner outside the EU and France became Turkey's third largest partner overall. The loss of impetus caused by the late 2000 and early 2001 financial breakdowns in Turkey were already compensated for in 2002.

Until recently, Turkey still attracted a modest share in global foreign direct investment trends, although France and her household brand names were markedly present in this share since the 1960s. French FDI stepped up as of the second half of the 1980s in a move checked temporarily by the same financial crises of 2000-2001. In the period 1980-2000, France was cumulatively the first foreign investor in Turkey, investing 5.6 billion Dollars in value. In 2003, according to the Turkish Treasury, there were 270 French enterprises in Turkey, corresponding to significant market shares in automotive, construction —especially for the production of electricity—, cement, insurance, distribution and pharmaceutical industries.

Relations Along Turkey's EU Perspective

In 2004, President Jacques Chirac said that France will hold a referendum on Turkey's entry into the EU when the issue arises, and any further EU enlargement will also be subject to a popular vote.

In 2007, Current French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated that "Turkey has no place inside the European Union." Sarkozy continued, "I want to say that Europe must give itself borders, that not all countries have a vocation to become members of Europe, beginning with Turkey which has no place inside the European Union."

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