Erdogan: EU 'Doomed to Failure' Without Turkey's Full-Fledged Membership in the EU
"Turkey will continue its efforts to join the EU," he said, quoted by NOVA TV.
"EU efforts to safeguard its values are doomed to failure without the full participation of Turkey," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
"Turkey will continue its efforts to join the EU, despite the actions of those who are trying to leave it outside the European community. Without Turkey's full participation, all EU efforts to guarantee the values it declares are doomed to failure. The European Union needs Turkey, "Erdogan told a meeting of his party on the implementation of reforms in Ankara.
According to Erdogan, Turkey has met 66 of the 72 criteria raised by the European Union as a condition for introducing a visa-free regime, and steps will be taken in the near future to meet the remaining six criteria.
He added that the new customs union agreement between Turkey and the EU is in the interest not only of Ankara but also of the European Union itself, quoted RIA Novosti.
In 1963, Turkey signed an association agreement with the EU, and in 1987 it submitted an application for EU membership.
Accession negotiations, however, began only in 2005 and were repeatedly discontinued due to disagreement. At present, 16 out of 35 chapters of the Negotiating dossier are open. In March 2016, Brussels stepped up the talks in exchange for Turkey's agreement to help reduce the flow of migrants to Europe.
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