Europe is at “a moment of truth with Turkey”, whose “EU accession process has stalled”, Prime Minister Charles Michel said during a two-day working visit to the Czech Republic and Slovenia. “The Turkish government is turning its back on European values”, said the Prime Minister. “And in recent months we have witnessed derogatory and unacceptable remarks by Turkey towards several European countries.”
Charles Michel argues that Europe should negotiate a “strategic partnership” with Ankara “because it is in the strategic interest of the EU to have a dialogue” with the Turks. “We are at a moment of truth with Turkey”, he said.
Since the failed coup in July 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has imposed a safe turn and restricted fundamental freedoms in Turkey. The culmination of this movement, the April 16 referendum on strengthening the Turkish president’s powers, was preceded by a campaign in which tensions with the EU escalated, with Erdogan going so far as to qualify some European countries as “Nazis”.