Turkey is an important partner on transport due to its strategic location at the crossroad between Europe, the Middle East and the Caucasus. It plays a key role in the extension of the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T) to the neighbouring countries.
As Turkey is an EU candidate country, the Commission is working on improving transport relations with Turkey within the framework of the accession process. There are two accession negotiations chapters dealing with transport: Chapter 14 on Transport Policy and Chapter 21 on Trans European networks.
Negotiations on Chapter 14 have been blocked since December 2006, when the Council decided that eight chapters (including Chapter 14) cannot be opened or closed until Turkey fully implements in a non-discriminatory way the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement. However, progress has been made on Chapter 21. In 2011 the Turkish comprehensive network was included in the Commission proposal for the new TEN-T guidelines.
The European Commission cooperates closely with Turkey in the field of aviation. The EU-Turkey Horizontal Air Agreement was initiated in March 2010 and is expected to be signed soon.
Additionally the EU is supporting financially both the development of the infrastructure as well as institution building in Turkey. Through the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) the EU financed a number of Technical Assistance projects on rail, as well as projects aiming at development of capacities of the Civil Aviation Authority or Maritime authorities.