Turkey's ultimate goal is 'full membership' of bloc — Erdogan to EU

Ruben Hill
Апреля 7, 2021

"Turkey must respect worldwide human rights and standards", she told journalists.

The EU remains committed to the relaunch of the Cyprus settlement talks and fully supports the UN-led process as an active observer, European Council President Charles Michel said on Tuesday after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

Top European Union officials are set to visit Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday as the bloc attempts to fix strained ties with his government.

"The doctrine of solidarity that prevails between European countries does not allow indifference on the part of Europe", noting that despite the interests of certain EU member states that depend on the Turkish economy, Cyprus and Greece have managed to bring the fore violations of global law by Turkey such as its drilling activities in the two countries' EEZs and even developments in Varosha.

Michel and Von der Leyen highlighted Ankara's role in helping to stem the flow of Syrian refugees from Turkey into Greece.

Last month, Erdogan pulled Turkey out of a key European convention aimed at combatting violence against women, triggering criticism from EU officials.

Von der Leyen said the move was "clearly the wrong signal right now".

The European Commission said it will soon make a proposal to Turkey to ensure the flow of funding for refugees, adding that Europe wants "much better relations" with Ankara but that it is "still early".

What else did the talks cover?

Charles Michel has also been criticised for taking his seat and not standing up for Mrs von der Leyen.

This should be long-lasting, he added, noting that Cyprus will not hesitate to veto the customs union between the EU with Turkey if the latter does not keep its obligations toward member states.

The road map for improved cooperation would depend on Erdogan acting to deescalate tensions with neighboring Greece and Cyprus.

Issues also included Turkey's gas exploration project in the eastern Mediterranean and future talks about the divided island of Cyprus.

In an interview on Monday with Greek Television ERT, the President reiterated his determination to participate in the informal conference on Cyprus to be held at the end of the month in Geneva and said he hopes for a constructive dialogue that will allow the resumption of talks seeking a Cyprus solution from the point they left off during the last round of negotiations held at Crans-Montana in 2017.

The 27-member bloc has been encouraged by conciliatory moves from Turkey in recent months.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the latest offer from the bloc "could be a new chapter in EU-Turkey relations" after relations hit a low point a year ago.

For Turkey, the possible thaw in relations coincides with domestic economic troubles - and a tougher line from Washington after Erdogan's ally Donald Trump was voted out of the White House.

President Anastasiades urged Ankara to realise that its aim for two states is considered unacceptable by all, including the US, Russia, China and other permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations and the EU. "Our engagement will be progressive, proportional and reversible".

"We have told President Erdogan that the European Union is ready to put a concrete and positive agenda on the table, based on three pillars: economic cooperation, migration, and people-to-people contacts and mobility", he added.

At the summit last month, the European Union also warned Ankara of sanctions if it restarts energy exploration in disputed waters and voiced concern over Turkey's human rights record.

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