The historically stable relationship between Italy and Turkey is experiencing a moment of uncertainty. Italy’s officials and businesspeople generally support a closer partnership, but the majority of political parties as well as the Italian public are increasingly wary of engaging Turkey as long as its political problems persist. The assumption is that, lacking a re-consolidation of Turkey’s democracy, not much progress is in sight. Augmenting the problem are also several foreign-policy-related issues that may put Italy and Turkey at loggerheads. The expected failure to upgrade the EU–Turkey Customs Union may be a further complicating factor, as the arrangement provides the basis for Turkish–Italian trade.
This report is part of a joint endeavour of the Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP, Berlin), along with Elcano Royal Institute (Madrid), Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM, Warsaw), Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI, Rome) and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP, Athens), to open perspectives for the modernisation of the European Union-Turkey Customs Union (EU-Turkey CU).
1. Economic partnership
1.1 Italy–Turkey trade
1.2 Foreign direct investment
1.4 Italian companies in Turkey
2. Positions of different actors on relations with Turkey
2.1 Government level
2.2 Political parties
2.3 Business communities, including trade unions and chambers of commerce
2.4 The Italian public
2.5 Other political concerns that shape Italy’s posture vis-à-vis Turkey