Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his country can part ways with the European Union after the EU Parliament stated in a recent report that Turkey’s EU accession process is unlikely to resume under the current circumstances, the state-run TRT news website reported on Saturday.
The EU Parliament report sharply criticized Turkey’s record on democracy, human rights and the rule of law, citing problems such as media suppression, judicial manipulation and discrimination against minority groups.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the report, calling it a collection of “unfounded allegations and prejudices.”
President Erdoğan answered journalists’ questions at the airport before leaving for the United States, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.
“If you want to know my assessment very precisely, the European Union is trying to break away from Turkey. At this time when the European Union is trying to disengage from Turkey, we will make our assessments in light of these developments and according to these assessments, if necessary, we can part ways with the European Union,” Erdoğan said in response to a question about the EU report.
Turkey and the EU began membership talks in 2005, but the process has been at a standstill in recent years.
Countries aspiring to become members must align their laws and legislation in 35 policy areas, or negotiating chapters.
EU leaders agreed in 2018 that no new chapters in Turkey’s accession negotiations should be opened or closed.