Erdogan calls for relaunch of Turkey ‘s accession talks

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo source: Ekathimerini.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for the resumption of negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the European Union, Agerpres reports, quoting AFP.

Negotiations on Turkey’s possible accession to the EU, launched in 2005, have stalled in recent years over tensions with Brussels in several areas.

“We expect the EU to open the chapters of the accession negotiations quickly and to start negotiations on the customs union without giving in to cynical calculations,” Erdogan said at the end of a meeting in Ankara with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The European Commission estimates at the end of 2020 that Turkey’s chances of accession are “at a standstill” due to decisions contrary to EU interests taken by Turkish leaders.

“Turkey has continued to distance itself from the European Union, with a serious setback in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights,” the EU executive said in a drastic report.

Relations between Brussels and Ankara have deteriorated massively after the coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, which was followed by a campaign to crack down on dissidents and journalists critical of the Turkish leadership.

EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday for a summit on managing the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. An extraordinary NATO summit is also scheduled to take place in Brussels on Thursday.

Turkey’s president has received four leaders from EU and NATO member states over the past nine days.

Turkey has made efforts to facilitate mediation between Moscow and Kyiv, but has refused to align with Western sanctions targeting Russia.