President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once again claimed that Ankara had fulfilled all criteria for becoming a member of the European Union and urged Brussels to halt accession talks if they do not want Turkey in the union, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
“Turkey has fulfilled all the criteria during the Justice and Development Party [AKP] governments. Despite this, the only reason why we have not become a full member is the EU’s inconsistent policies. As a country that has kept all its promises, we are expecting the same from the EU,” Erdoğan said at a party camp over the weekend.
Turkey’s relations with the EU date back to 1963. The country was named a candidate in 1999, and negotiations for full membership started in 2005. The EU has suspended talks with Turkey due to the EU’s unhappiness with what the union has described as a decline of democratic norms in the country.
“A step that needs to be taken for either strengthening or cutting Turkey-EU ties … must be done by the Europeans. Don’t you like, don’t you want, Turkey? Then, say, ‘We are parting ways,’ and get it done. You already have no use for us,” Erdoğan said.
The president slammed the EU for making excuses to hinder Turkey’s EU process and said their pretexts have been unfounded and baseless, a fact known by both the EU and the European Parliament, he claimed.
“They opt to accuse Turkey in order to conceal their unprincipled stance,” the president stated. Specifically, he accused the EU of not keeping promises to provide financial assistance to the Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey.
Turkey has wasted a lot of energy on membership talks, but the EU is still delaying the process, Erdoğan said.
“They did the same on visa liberalization and the customs union, and they are still delaying. We will patiently wait for the realization of promises, but it won’t be forever.”