EU Commission says hopes Turkey will stay committed partner after vote

EU Commission says hopes Turkey will stay committed partner after vote

BRUSSELS - Reuters
EU Commission says hopes Turkey will stay committed partner after vote

The European Commission said on June 25 it hoped Turkey would “remain a committed partner” after an election that gave President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sweeping new executive powers.

With virtually all votes counted, Erdoğan took 53 percent of the vote while in the parliamentary vote his Justice and Development Party (AKP) took 42.5 percent and its ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) secured 11 percent, outstripping expectations.

“We hope that under President Erdoğan’s leadership Turkey will remain a committed partner for the European Union on major issues of common interest such as migration, security, regional stability and the fight against terrorism,” a spokesman for the European Commission told a regular briefing.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 while accession talks began in 2005. Negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration, as well as opposition from Germany and France. Turkey’s steps back from its democratization and reform agenda have also frustrated the accession process.

To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations on 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.

As of May 2016, a total of 16 chapters had been opened and one concluded. However, in December 2016 member states said no new chapters would be opened.

Turkey, European Union, June 24 elections, European Commission