Erdogan: Turkey Could "Part Ways" with the European Union if Necessary


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has hinted at the possibility of a divergence between Turkey and the European Union, should circumstances demand it. This statement comes in response to the contents of a recent report by the European Parliament regarding Turkey.

The report, adopted earlier this week in the plenary session of the European Parliament, states that Turkey's accession process to the bloc cannot be resumed under current conditions. It calls on the European Union to explore a "parallel and realistic framework" for its relations with Ankara.

Olivér Várhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, commented on the report, stating that in line with the European Council's decision, negotiations for Turkey's accession remain at an impasse. He expressed particular concern over Turkey's refusal to implement rulings by the European Court of Human Rights.

In response to the report's findings, Erdogan told journalists before his trip to the United States for the 78th United Nations General Assembly, "The European Union is attempting to detach itself from Turkey, and we will assess our position in light of these developments. If necessary, we can part ways with the European Union," according to the Turkish Presidency's official website.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized the European Union's report last Wednesday, describing it in a statement as a "collection of baseless allegations and preconceived judgments, built on misleading information from anti-Turkey circles."

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu accused Brussels of placing political obstacles in the accession negotiations and expressed his expectation for the European Union to demonstrate the necessary will to improve relations and act more boldly.

Prior to the NATO summit in July of last year, President Erdogan set a condition for approving Sweden's accession to the alliance—a resumption of negotiations for Turkey's accession to the European Union, which encompasses most NATO member states.

It is worth noting that Turkey formally applied for membership in the European Union in 1987, and official accession negotiations began in 2005. However, they have been stalled for years, coinciding with strained relations between Brussels and Ankara after the failed coup attempt in July 2016 and the subsequent campaign against dissenters and journalists.

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