Turkey will say “goodbye” to the European Union if it does not open new chapters of negotiations for the accession of Ankara, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday. “You have no choice but to open the chapters you have not opened,” Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara. “If you open them, very well. If not, goodbye.” Relations between Ankara and Brussels, tense since the failed July coup in Turkey, became even more tense during the campaign for the referendum on the strengthening of the powers of Erdogan, due to the cancellation of meetings of Turkish ministers in Europe.
Turkey’s accession to the EU has been in limbo for several years, and progress seems unlikely. Since the official start of Turkey’s accession talks with the EU in 2005, 16 chapters out of 35 have been opened. The last one opened in June 2016 and was on financial and budgetary matters.
Despite the tensions, Turkey remains an important partner of the EU, notably in the fight against terrorism and on migration.