Turkish PM Erdoğan to press for EU membership timeline in Brussels
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet with President of EU Council Herman van Rompuy, President of European Commission José-Manuel Barroso and President of European Parliament Martin Schulz. AP photo
Turkey will constantly highlight the need to set a timetable in negotiations for raising the chances of a swifter conclusion in its EU membership bid, EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Jan. 20, on the eve of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Brussels.
“We are demanding close cooperation from our European friends. We will surely underline that [our accession negotiations] process should be based on a timeline and it should not be open-ended,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters during his meeting with Norwegian Ambassador Janis Björn Kanavin.
Çavuşoğlu said these issues will be brought to the agenda of EU countries in successive meetings with EU officials, starting from Erdoğan’s talks with senior EU authorities in Brussels on Jan. 21.
French President François Hollande’s visits to Turkey and Erdoğan’s visit to Berlin early February will also constitute good opportunities for Turkey to express its views vis-a-vis accession talks, he added.
Erdoğan was scheduled to depart for Brussels late Jan. 20 for one-day talks in the EU headquarters. He is set to meet with President of EU Council Herman van Rompuy, President of European Commission José-Manuel Barroso and President of European Parliament Martin Schulz.
Following bilateral meetings, the four men will come together at a luncheon hosted by van Rompuy.
European officials are expected to express growing concerns about the Turkish government’s successive steps in curbing judicial independence and in increasing its control over the judiciary through a controversial amendment on the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).
In his first visit to Brussels since 2009, Erdoğan will be accompanied by a delegation including EU Minister Çavuşoğlu, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, deputy prime ministers Beşir Atalay and Emrullah İşler, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi and Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik.