Turkish PM Warns Brussels: Alternatives to EU Exist
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m has warned the European Union not to forget that Turkey has alternatives to the bloc.
Relations between the EU and Turkey have been strained lately. “Turkey has alternatives to Europe – being too modest may destroy love relationships,” stated the PM at a party conference of the ruling Justice and Development Party, without specifying what Turkey’s alternatives are.
The process of accession of turkey to the EU started in the 1960’s but official negotiations began in 2005. A mere 16 out of 35 chapters of the negotiations have been opened so far.
In March, the two parties signed an agreement on limiting the migrant flow to Europe with the help of Turkey. Turkey undertook the obligation to admit migrants returned from Greece. In exchange, Turkey was promised an acceleration of the accession process, visa-regime liberalisation and EUR 6 B.
The abolition of visas for Turkish citizens cannot be implemented due to the refusal of Ankara to change one of its key laws on terrorism – a demand made repeatedly by Brussels.
Relations became additionally strained this summer after the unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey, after which the government undertook a mass purge of the administration, the police, educational and legal systems.
The EU criticised Turkey about the way it dealt with the organisers of the coup.
In response, Turkey attacked Brussels on the issue of the EU not showing enough support for Turkey at the time of the coup.
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