Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the European Union to decide upon Turkey’s membership of the EU. He said that his country refuses to be treated like a “beggar” at the gateway to Europe. During a press conference, Mr Erdogan stated, “The EU expects Turkey to simply back down on the issue.”
The press conference was held in Ankara yesterday (Wednesday) before he left for Brussels, where he participated in the NATO “Summit” today (Thursday). He went on, “However it is you – the EU – who should be making the decision. If you do so, we will not make the task complicated for you.”
He added, “The EU has no right to consider Turkey as if it were a beggar at its door.”
Today Mr Erdogan was scheduled to meet the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council to discuss the matter. Conveniently, all three individuals would also be attending the NATO “Summit”.
The relations between the EU and Turkey have been ever more strained, since the failed coup d’état in July last year against Mr Erdogan. They further deteriorated during the referendum campaign which strengthened his powers in April.
Turkey’s EU membership process is currently “in limbo” with progress seeming unlikely in the short term.
As The Brussels Times has previously reported, since talks officially began in 2005, 16 out of 35 chapters of the accession document (relevant for any country seeking to join the EU) have been discussed. The last discussion of a given chapter took place in June 2016.