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The following article appeared in the business daily Dünya on 28 October 2009. Translated from Turkish by Tim Drayton.

The era of “common currency” trade with Iran

Turkey, following Russia, is preparing to adopt a common currency with Iran

ISTANBUL- Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking in Tehran at the Turco-Iranian business forum, said that both Iran and Turkey had laid the legal ground for the adoption of a common currency in trade with Iran and that thus no obstacle remained.

The Prime Minister said that legislation permitted the adoption of a common currency with Iran and, recalling that Iran had made new legal provisions in this regard, proposed that the common currency be adopted.

Erdoğan commented as follows:

”We have made and enacted legal provisions for this. This has been approved by our parliament. This was taken care of when the necessary legislation concerning the Central Bank was made. Since provisions have been made in Iran, what are we waiting for? Let us then move forward together with this. The Turkish lira and the rouble are finished; the riyal is finished. Let us together complete this affair; we are making similar efforts with the Russian Federation. For, what is the point of losing out from exchange rate differences; what need is there? Why not take steps …? Given that we trade, given that this is a question of self-interest, why should we permit others to benefit from this? We must consider our self-interest; we will say, ‘We have taken this step’; this is the crux of the matter.”

“30 billion dollars of trade will take us to a very different point”

Erdoğan, noting that the increase in trade with Iran to 10 billion dollars at the end of 2008 was satisfactory, continued, “We expect bilateral trade this year, due to the global crisis and the fall in petroleum prices, to fall to 6 billion dollars. We can turn this round. We have targeted 20 billion dollars for the end of 2011 but officials here have said, ‘Why should this not be 30 billion dollars?’ I believe that we will all be ready for this. We as politicians will do what is required of us, we will remove obstacles and businessmen will rush in to take advantage of this. The achieving of a 30 billion dollar target within a few years will take Turkey and Iran to a very different point.”

Archive of Turkish press translations by Tim Drayton