Economy, Domestic Economy

Talks Only Way in Turkey Transit Row

Talks Only Way in Turkey Transit Row
Talks Only Way in Turkey Transit Row

Negotiation is the only way to settle the row between Iran and Turkey over truck transit fees, the embassy of Iran in Turkey said in a statement, ISNA reported.

“We do not discriminate between Iranian and Turkish drivers. Drivers of other countries have no objection to the present transit fees, but surprisingly, Turkey has made a problem out of it,” reads the statement.

According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Iran and Turkey in 1994, the two sides agreed not to charge trucks crossing their shares border, except for the fees to compensate for the roads maintenance costs.

Iranian officials argue that Turkey has violated the agreement it signed 20 years ago by increasing border crossing fees for Iranian trucks.

Turkish officials say the move was an objection to the transit fees Iran has been charging Turkish trucks recently, since Ankara has continuously urged a reduction in the fees during these years.

Turkish trucks paid over $1 billion to Iran for the differences in fuel prices between the two countries in the last decade, and this amount is to rise to $2.5 billion in the next decade, according to Turkey’s International Transporters Association (UND).

Iranian officials have proposed several solutions to resolve the dispute: supplying fuel to Turkish trucks in Iran at Turkish price (4 liras per liter), supplying fuel to Iranian trucks in Turkey at Iranian price (4 kurus), trucks of both countries settle on an equal price, maintaining trades with the present price formula (Turkish drivers pay the price difference and consume inexpensive fuel in Iran), and finally, specifying costs and services for which Iranian drivers pay transit fee.

Kurus is a Turkish currency subunit. One Turkish lira is equal to 100 kurus.

  Iran Serious to React

Tehran will take countermeasures should the two sides fail to reach an agreement, warned the managing director of the Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization of Iran.

“Turkey charges Iranian truck drivers 50 euros for every 100 kilometers. Iran charges Turkish drivers equally in return,” said Mohammad Javad Atrchian.

Turkey refrains from supplying fuel to Iranian trucks and that “has given them the upper hand” in the transit fee dispute, according to Atrchian.

He stressed that Iran is one of the major importers of Turkish products and it will be to the detriment of Turkey if Iran reduces imports from the country.

“This is not a dispute in which one side comes out on top. This will be a win-win or a lose-lose. We will see how the negotiations will play out.”