EU should decide if it wants Turkey: Foreign minister
“If the European Union doesn’t want to have us, they have to give the decision,” Çavuşoğlu told a news conference after the 4th Visegrad Group (V4) Turkey Foreign Ministers Meeting in Slovakia.
“But it’s not only about the reform, or it’s not only about the benchmarks or criteria that Turkey can meet or Turkey has not met,” he said.
Turkey has repeatedly complained of political hurdles, discrimination, and double standards standing in the way of its joining the EU.
During the meeting, Çavuşoğlu, Slovakia’s Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz, and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto exchanged views on Turkey-EU relations and discussed recent international developments.
Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005.
But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France.
Çavuşoğlu also said Turkey has a population of 82 million, which he said would give the country the highest number of seats at the European Parliament than any other country if Ankara were an EU member.
“Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country. So, if the EU is a religious club, that’s fine. If the EU does not want to share anything, including power with another country or member state, that is also fine. The membership is a still strategic goal for us,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu said following the March 31 local polls, Turkey is ready to negotiate any chapter and meet any conditions and the standards.
“Now, the reform is a priority for Turkey, but we should avoid political obstacles, he added.