Ankara has said it regrets remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron targeting Turkey and its EU membership process, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
“We deplore some of Macron’s remarks about our country and the EU membership process,” spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
During an ambassadors conference in Paris on Monday, Macron had questioned Turkey’s EU membership prospects.
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s project is pan-Islamic and contrary to our European values,” Macron said.
Macron stated that there is a need to build strategic partnerships with Turkey and Russia instead of granting Turkey EU membership.
“We need to build a strategic partnership with Russia and Turkey because they are two important powers for our collective security, they must be tied to Europe,” Macron stated. “While the Turks keep asserting a pan-Islamist and apparently anti-European agenda day after day, how can we think clearly and honestly of continuing talks for Turkey’s EU membership?” he said.
“President Erdogan’s Turkey is not the Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, he added, in reference to the founder of modern Turkey.
Aksoy said the French leader’s remarks showed that he doesn’t understand the facts and that Turkey has done its full share for the security of Europe.
Macron’s “Turkey is anti-Europe” remark does not reflect the reality, the spokesman said.
With its new presidential system, a more powerful, democratic and secular Turkey is determined to proceed on its way to the full membership in the EU.