EU ‘must say clearly’ if it doesn’t want Turkey: President Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the European Union to explicitly say if it does not want Ankara as a full member, describing German politicians’ “anti-Turkey stances” as an implementation of “Nazism and fascism.”
“We want EU bodies and European countries to be sincere and real in their policies on Turkey,” Erdoğan said at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) meeting on Sept. 6.
“Take this decision as soon as possible. If you cannot tolerate the current shape of Turkey’s relationship with the EU, then declare [an end to it] and do it bravely. That will help everyone see your real face,” he added, recalling German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that Berlin will ask other EU leaders to either suspend or end Turkish accession process in October.
Erdoğan also accused the EU of implementing “hypocrisy and political immorality” when it comes to ties with Ankara.
His words come amid a bitter dispute between Ankara and Berlin, and follow German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s vow to put and end to Turkish accession process after consultations with other EU countries in October, after the German parliamentary elections. Merkel’s rival, the leader of the Germany’s Social Democrat Party (SPD), Martin Schulz also promised to end Turkey’s accession process if elected as the prime minister in elections.
“It’s the EU that has to take steps now. They will either keep their promises, pave the way to [Turkey’s] accession process and fulfill their requirements stemming from our agreement about irregular migration [into Europe] or they will say ‘We don’t want to continue our path with Turkey.’ There is no other option. We will disappoint those who are trying to use Turkey as a tool in election campaigns,” Erdoğan said.
The agreement he was referring to was struck between Ankara and Brussels and obliges the EU to accelerate Turkey’s accession process by opening negotiating chapters, providing visa-free travel to Turkish nationals, and delivering six billion euros of refugee aid over two periods in return for Turkey stopping the flow of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into EU territories.
“They have not kept their promises,” Erdoğan said, adding that Turkey’s spending on Syrian refugees exceeded $30 billion so far.
“They have also failed on visa issue. Even Latin American countries have been granted to access to the Schengen area while this has not been provided to us,” he said.
Noting that Turkey’s official state policy has not yet given up the EU membership bid, the president claimed that Turkey “firmly fulfilled requirements from the very beginning of its candidacy.”
“It is not acceptable for us to be subjected to the EU’s accusations while it does not fulfill its promises,” Erdoğan said.
‘Nazism, fascism in Germany’
He complained that Turkey has become a major theme in elections in European countries including the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and now Germany.
“It’s clear that this kind of politics, entirely focused on myself and Turkey, will make no positive contribution to these European countries. But I ask this: How will these politicians be able to look me in the face?” Erdoğan said.
“What has Erdoğan done to you? Is this election being held in Turkey or in Germany? Mind you own business. Don’t mess with us,” he added.
Reiterating his previous call on Turkish nationals who are eligible to vote in Germany, Erdoğan urged them not to vote for political parties that are “enemies of Turkey.”
“The conditions in Europe are no different from those of pre-World War II,” Erdoğan claimed, recalling an earlier row between the two countries over his comparison of the German government’s policies to Nazism.
“You are implementing the same as what Nazism did. Why are you disturbed? I’m not saying: ‘You are Nazis and facists.’ But I draw the picture. This is Nazism and fascism. That’s what you are doing,” he said.