Saturday, June 22, 2024

Erdogan says Turkey never needed help, support from EU

Ankara has never needed help or support from the European Union, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an exclusive wide-ranging interview with US media.

When asked whether Turkey was ready to abandon the process of joining the European Union, Erdogan commented that Istanbul attaches great importance to EU decisions but that it’s not wholly reliant on the body.

“If the EU would take such a step forward by making such a decision, we would welcome it,” he stated.

“Turkey has been lingering at the doorstep of the EU for the last five decades, and we were always self-sufficient. We never relied on contributions or support we received from the EU, so it’s not even necessary for us.”

Turkey signed the Ankara Agreement, or the Agreement Creating an Association Between the Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community (EEC, the predecessor of the EU), in 1963 and applied for full membership in 1987. The negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the EU began in 2005; however, talks stalled over the bloc’s concerns about human rights violations in Turkey.

In an earlier scathing report, the European Commission outlined Turkey’s steps toward membership was on uncertain ground for what officials deemed “serious backsliding in the areas of democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights and the independence of the judiciary.”

In turn, Turkey cited the report as being riddled with “unjust accusations and prejudices.” Erdogan subsequently admitted that Ankara could part ways with the EU.

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