Turkey wants to resolve ‘trust problem’ with EU: Official
Turkey is willing to solve a “trust problem” with the European Union, a Turkish government official said on Dec. 20.
Speaking to journalists in Paris, Turkey’s EU Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Selim Yenel said the main obstacle in the relations is “a lack of confidence.”
“Unfortunately, we could not fully trust each other mutually. We want to restore that trust,” Yenel said.
He also stressed that Turkey’s EU membership negotiations, which “is now at a standstill,” should be resolved as the current situation is not in the best interests of both sides.
“Unfortunately, there are no chapters [in the negotiations] to open because there is a political obstacle,” he said.
Yenel noted that the Greek Cyprus administration, which has been an EU member state since 2004, had blocked the process.
“As long as the Cyprus [dispute] is not resolved we cannot take another step in this matter,” he added.
Turkey applied to become a member of the EU in 1987, but the accession talks began in 2005.
Negotiations, however, stalled in 2007 due to objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus, as well as opposition from Germany and France.
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, 16 chapters had been opened and one concluded. However, in December 2016, member states said no new chapters would be opened.