Turkish PM urges more German support for EU bid

Turkish PM urges more German support for EU bid

BERLIN – Agence France-Presse
Turkish PM urges more German support for EU bid

urkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a speech at the German Association of Foreign Policy (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswaertige Politik - DGAP) during his official visit in Berlin, Feb 4. AFP photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Germany to step up its support for Turkey’s European Union accession bid, while vowing that Turkey would continue making “progress” with its reforms.

“We expect and would like to receive great support from Germany on the path into the EU and the EU admission process,” Erdoğan said Feb. 4, during a speech at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.

“We would like for Germany to campaign [for it] more strongly than it has up to now,” he added.

Erdoğan’s Berlin visit comes at a sensitive time, as his government is fighting corruption allegations and is under pressure from Brussels to refrain from a judicial bill that could contradict EU legislation. 

It also follows a recent trip to EU headquarters in Brussels last month, where he gave reassurances that the government would respect the rule of law.

“It goes without saying that also it’s up to Turkey, in the [EU] admission process, to pursue its reforms and to continually further carry these out,” Erdoğan said.

The prime minister also said that Europe’s top economy and the EU could also benefit from Turkey’s presence at the bloc’s table, such as in regional conflict resolution.

Turkey began formal EU membership talks in 2005, which subsequently hit several stumbling blocks. Negotiations resumed last November following an almost three-year freeze, as both sides re-engaged to open a new chapter.

Erdoğan was set to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel later on the visit. Merkel’s conservatives openly favor forging a “privileged partnership” between the EU and Turkey, rather than full entry.