Turkey and Italy reach a record level of exports
After a long period of recession in Turkish-Italian relations, now the trading volume between the two countries has reached almost $20 billion in 2012 despite the difficult international and Italian economic context. Italian ambassador to Turkey Gianpaolo Scarante said that Turkey and Italy have initiated an expansion process in every field and that he couldn't understand why the EU is still hesitating about Turkey's accession to EU. Italy ranks the second country in terms of trade volume in Turkey and more than 900 Italian companies are actively operating in Turkey. Turkey and Italy cooperate in a great number of projects such as the highway between Istanbul and Izmir, the high speed railway between Ankara and Istanbul, the bridge to be constructed over the Golden Horn (Halic in Turkish) and light metro systems. The cooperation between Turkey and Italy is not restricted to Turkey. These two countries have won many tenders oversees like the Warsaw subway project that they have undertaken together. "We have initiated an expansion process with Turkey in many fields extending from culture to defense, industry and politics. We also have a car that we jointly manufacture. I am from Venice. A Turkish group of entrepreneurs has purchased an island in Venice and launched a giant hotel construction project. I foresee that the trade volume between the two countries will increase by 50% in three to four years. We are doing our best to attract the attention of Italian entrepreneurs to Turkey," said Gianpaolo Scarante, in his interview with Hayrettin Turan, foreign news director of the Turkiye daily. Scarante has also touched upon the Turkey-EU relations, saying, "I don't understand why the EU countries impose visa restriction to Turkey. We want to see Turkey among the visa-free countries. We have lifted the short-term visas and granted long-term visas to Turkish citizens, even if they don't demand. I see that Europe is applying double standards to Turkey and this is inacceptable. I have read all the books written by Orhan Pamuk and Elif Safak. Istanbul is now among the most popular cities of the world."