On Sunday evening the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, considered that Turkey will never be a member of the European Union. She feels that it is not possible whilst issues creating tension are multiplying between Europe and Ankara.
Mrs Merkel stated, during a televised debate with Social Democrat leader Martin Schultz, former president of the European Parliament, three weeks from the German parliamentary elections, “I do not see membership happening and I have never believed that it might do so.” She added that the question would be whether Turkey or the EU “would close the door” first.
Both contenders addressed the deteriorating relations with Turkey in similar words.
Merkel said it was clear that it was not possible to let Turkey join EU. She would talk to her European colleagues to see if it was possible to reach a common position about terminating Turkey’s accession talks.
The spokesperson of Turkish president Erdogan accused the German politicians of populism and hoped that German-Turkish relations would not fall victim to a narrow political perspective.
At yesterday’s press meeting in Brussels (4 September), journalists were eager to hear the Commission’s reaction to this. The Commission spokesperson answered the question by referring to president Juncker’s speech to the EU ambassadors which predated the German TV debate.
In his speech (29 August), Juncker said that the question if the accession negotiations with Turkey should be terminated is purely theoretical since anyway no negotiations are taken place for the moment. “Turkey is moving away from Europe by giant strides,” he said.
While claiming that he still maintained good relations with the Turkish president, Juncker stated that Turkey should notice that it is the “Erdogan system” which makes it impossible for Turkey to join EU. He apparently preferred Turkey to take the responsibility for formally breaking off the negotiations.