Turkey-EU ties to ‘relatively normalize’ after elections in Europe: Turkish PM

Turkey-EU ties to ‘relatively normalize’ after elections in Europe: Turkish PM

Turkey-EU ties to ‘relatively normalize’ after elections in Europe: Turkish PM


Relations between Turkey and European Union member states will “relatively normalize” after the completion of a series of elections in Europe, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on March 27. 

Meeting with the chief editors of TV broadcasters, Yıldırım said it was not correct to say “all EU states are against Turkey.”

“But a few of them are conducting an active campaign against [Turkey] with regard to the constitutional amendment,” he said, referring to the government-supported bid to shift to an executive presidential system, due to be voted in a referendum on April 16. 

Yıldırım warned that “Islamophobia and anti-Turkish tendencies” pose a risk to Europe, while claiming that the arguments of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are heeded over Turkey’s perspective. 

Addressing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s comments that Ankara will “reassess” its ties with the European Union after the April 16 referendum, Yıldırım said “the people will make the decision on issues that politics can’t decide.”

A referendum on Turkey’s EU membership bid could be held if Turkish citizens are “in confusion” about the process, he added. 

Cooperation with YPG ‘limits ties with Russia’

The prime minister also stated that Russia wants to further develop bilateral ties with Turkey, but its ongoing cooperation with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia limits this collaboration.

“Russia wants to develop relations with us, but this also has boundaries. We cannot overlook those who are giving support to terrorist organizations,” he said. 

Asked about the U.S. plans for possible cooperation with YPG militants in the upcoming Raqqa operation, Ankara has had the necessary discussions with Washington and it is now down to the U.S. administration to make a final decision, Yıldırım stated.

The U.S. administration has “not given feedback” on Turkey’s concerns about the Syrian Kurdish militia and the American military’s cooperation with the YPG is still continuing, he added.