Erdoğan calls on EU to show same sensitivity for Turkey’s membership

Erdoğan calls on EU to show same sensitivity for Turkey’s membership

Erdoğan calls on EU to show same sensitivity for Turkey’s membership

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the European Union to treat his country with the same sensitivity as it does for Ukraine when it comes to the membership to the bloc, without waiting for it to be “hit by a war.”

“I tell the EU member states: Please show your sensitivity toward Ukraine, for Turkey as well. Or will you put Turkey on the agenda when someone declares war and attacks Turkey? They are not sincere,” he said at a press conference on March 1 with his Kosovar counterpart, Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu.

Erdoğan recalled the European Union has abstained to accept Ankara as a member since the 1960s.

Now there is an agenda about Ukraine’s accession to the bloc and Turkey appreciates these efforts, yet the EU should have shown the same sensitivity to Turkey as well, he stated.

“But I say to these EU members, ‘I wonder if you are worried, hesitant or not to take Turkey into the EU,’” he said.

“Our stance on NATO is already clear. We are not a country that prevents its expansion. On the contrary, we have always argued that enlargement in NATO would be beneficial. We are still defending it today,” Erdoğan added.

While taking these steps, Turkey supports this policy for world peace, he added.

When it comes to the defense industry cooperation, Turkey and the EU are allies, he said, asking, “Why don’t you give us equipment and ammunition?”

Erdoğan called on Russia and Ukraine for a ceasefire as soon as possible, calling on both Moscow and Kiev to “make a good contribution to world peace.”

Turkey’s relations with the EU dates back to 1963. The country was named one of the candidates in 1999.

Turkey and the EU had started the process of former’s joining the 27-member club in 2005, but Brussels suspended the process due to the applicant country’s inability to fulfill the required membership criteria. Turkey opened only 16 chapters out of 35 and closed only one of them.

Turkey says it is a political decision and calls on the EU to adopt a more adequate and honest approach towards Ankara. In 2016, the EU said it would open no new areas in Turkey’s membership talks in the “currently prevailing circumstances” because of concerns about its post-coup measures.