Let’s focus on our ‘common future’: Turkey to EU
AA photoEuropean Union Minister of Turkey Ömer Çelik called out on the European Union to focus on the future as “a rapprochement” between Turkey and the EU, amid the acceleration of discussions on the suspension of Turkey’s full membership talks.
His comments came after the political scene in the EU engaged in a discussion over the continuation of full membership talks with Turkey, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed not to support Ankara’s bid to join the EU.
“To solve such big problems, we should focus on a common future as a rapprochement between Turkey and the EU,” Çelik said on Sept. 8 at a panel in Tallinn.
Merkel hinted she would support the suspension or the end of Turkey’s accession talks with the EU at the meeting to be held in October.
“I will recommend that we discuss the future status of Turkey, including whether to suspend or end membership talks,” Merkel said on Sept. 3, warning Ankara is “drifting away from the rule of law fast.”
Ankara deems the German Chancellor’s comments as a campaigning rhetoric ahead of the German federal elections to be held on Sept. 24. “Such comments are not right,” Çelik said.
“We have been fed up with hearing such irrational comments, and Turkey should not be subject to any country’s internal politics,” he said, reiterating Ankara’s criticisms of Merkel for practicing the politics of populism.
“Turkey has come this way as a strong European country and strong European democracy without being a member of the EU. This aim is still protected,” he added.
“Not collaborating with a secular and democratic political regime would imperil the struggle against radicalization,” said Çelik, stating that Turkey is a Muslim-majority country.
“In this manner, I have underlined that the comments stating ‘the negotiations should be suspended or cut’ are the biggest supporting [factors to] radicalization,” he said.
Amid difficulties over Turkey’s future accession talks, Çelik went to the Estonian capital to participate in the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers and to meet with prominent EU officials.