EU denies ‘indecent proposal’ over Turkey’s Progress Report
AFP photoA diplomatic source from the European Commission has categorically denied that the EU proposed to “soften” the content of the Progress Report if Turkey cooperated more closely over the refugee issue, as recently alleged by Turkish EU Minister Beril Dedeoğlu.
“This is untrue,” said the source, adding there was “no link” between the report and talks on the refugee issue.
Another source stressed that EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Dedeoğlu had never even had dinner, contrary to the latter’s claims that this is when the proposal was made.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet on Nov 10 after the European Commission’s latest report on Turkey’s EU membership bid was published, Dedeoğlu said criticism in the report indicated “a breaking point in a positive sense.”
“During the meetings, we were grappling with the refugee issue and chapters. We didn’t have the progress report on our agenda. But during one dinner … a young person from the commission attempted to match the progress report to refugee issue. They said something like ‘We could soften the content of this progress report if we sort out the refugee issue.’ I supposed I took advantage of being a non-diplomat. I said ‘Release it. Who’s afraid? We are what we are.’ The commissioner responded, ‘I guess you were a tough professor,’” she stated.