Turkey eager to open multiple EU chapters
Çavuşoğlu is set to accompany Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who will travel to Berlin today for a senior-level visit to the German capital. AA PhotoOpening one negotiation chapter with Turkey during each six-month rotating presidency of the European Union is not acceptable, Turkish EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said, ahead of a key official visit to Germany.
Çavuşoğlu said that such slow progress would mean that Turkey can only become an EU member within a decade at the earliest. “Chapters 23 and 24 [judiciary and fundamental rights; and justice, freedom and security] are very important and we want chapters related to the judiciary, security and freedom to be opened. As a matter of fact, EU countries also want this, but Greek Cyprus has blocked these two chapters. These should be lifted,” he told reporters on Feb. 3, as he hosted Hacettepe University rector Murat Tuncer.
Çavuşoğlu is set to accompany Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who will travel to Berlin today for the first senior-level visit from Ankara to the German capital after parliamentary elections last year, in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel secured a third consecutive term in power.
“During our meeting with Germany, we will also bring the issue of opening the chapter on energy onto the agenda,” he added.
“But in general terms, we wish to have as many chapters as possible opened at once. Because when we assume one chapter is opened during each presidency term, just opening the chapters will take 10 years. This is not an acceptable process,” Çavuşoğlu said.
Turkey began talks on joining the EU in 2005, but has only provisionally closed off 35 policy areas, or chapters, that every candidate must conclude to be allowed entry. It has opened 13 other chapters.