Turkey ready to open accession chapters, says EU minister

Turkey ready to open accession chapters, says EU minister

Şükrü Küçükşahin - ANKARA
Turkey ready to open accession chapters, says EU minister

AA photo

Turkey is capable of opening all European Union accession chapters, with the exception of competition and public procurement, as long as the union is prepared, Turkish EU Minister Volkan Bozkır has told daily Hürriyet, adding the remaining chapters could be opened if the Cyprus problem was solved.

Bozkır also said Turkey and the EU should “plan healthier relations,” as a number of paradigms had shifted, adding he found the union’s increasing interest in Turkey to be sincere. 

Recalling the “economic quake” in Europe, he defined the first paradigm shift as “the EU needing strong economies such as Turkey and its policies.”

EU member states could make their investments in Turkey and gain added value, the minister said, noting his country was a huge market. 

Bozkır also cited the refugee and terror problems the EU has been facing recently as a second issue, adding the refugee crisis in particular could reach more problematic levels. 

Turkey has said the differentiation between terror groups could lead to terror spreading across Europe and reaching the entire world, Bozkır noted.

Due to these developments, relations between the EU and Turkey have changed, therefore “a new deal is needed which will make Turkey and the EU act on the same platform, in the same direction, producing the same solutions,” he said. 

Meanwhile,  progress is expected on Turkey’s stalled bid to join the EU, with Chapter 17 of the accession process dealing with the economy and monetary policy due to be opened on Dec. 14-15, Bozkır told reporters on Nov. 26. 

Turkey would not be content with the opening of only one chapter, Bozkır said, adding they will launch a joint effort to open a further five to six chapters in 2016.

EU leaders and Ankara agreed to hold a special summit on Nov. 29 in order to finalize an accord to curb refugees flowing from the Middle East to Europe.

Setting a date for an intergovernmental conference, at which Chapter 17 will be opened, was one of Turkey demands for holding the conference.