Latest remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have raised the prospect that Turkey may sever ties with the European Union.
Talking on Saturday within the wake of a decision adopted by the European Parliament (EP) on September 13, Erdogan stated he may break with a bloc that Ankara has hoped for years to affix, however concrete steps have been few and far between, and accession talks are successfully frozen.
The EP decision adopted a report printed by the European Fee final yr and stated that Turkey’s EU accession course of “can’t be resumed” with out a “drastic change in fact” by Ankara.
Erdogan responded by accusing the bloc of “making efforts to sever ties with Turkey”, including: “We are going to make our evaluations in opposition to these developments, and if vital, we will half methods with the EU.”
For its half, Turkey’s Ministry of International Affairs stated the decision included “unjust accusations and prejudices”.
“This report … is a mirrored image of the European Parliament’s normal shallow and non-visionary method, each in its relations with our nation and the way forward for the EU,” the ministry stated.
It demonstrates how far the establishment is “from creating the best strategic method in direction of each the EU and our area,” it added.
Turkey has a customs union with the EU and has been a candidate for accession since 1995. Full membership talks, which have been opened in 2005, have been in impasse because the late 2010s, and diplomatic efforts to revive them have failed.
Mutual pursuits and the right way to serve them
The rhetoric within the EP’s decision and the tone it used have been in keeping with earlier stories by the bloc when evaluating the political scenario in Turkey, in keeping with Sinan Ulgen, a senior fellow on the Brussels-based assume tank Carnegie Europe.
“And in the identical method, it fails to provide a constructive approach for the way forward for mutual ties and an alternative choice to their present unfavourable course,” Ulgen stated.
Though the EP has solely restricted affect on the bloc’s enlargement, it has requested the official suspension of the EU’s accession talks with Turkey a number of occasions lately in non-binding votes.
As well as, a number of member states, reminiscent of Austria, France and Germany have previously referred to as for Turkey to have a special type of partnership with the bloc somewhat than full membership.
Regardless, Ulgen stated, it isn’t lifelike to imagine that Turkey’s full membership bid would formally finish.
“It might be onerous to get the mandatory help throughout the EU member states to finish Turkey’s membership bid as there are a lot of nations, reminiscent of Spain, Poland, Hungary, Greece and Finland, that historically again the membership prospect and the talks,” he stated.
The analyst stated he additionally doesn’t really feel that Turkey would withdraw unilaterally from the method regardless of Erdogan’s remarks. “I don’t assume that that is politically lifelike or [will be] pursued by Ankara,” he stated.
A proper finish to Turkey’s EU membership talks isn’t in one of the best curiosity of both facet, agreed Mensur Akgun, a professor of worldwide relations at Istanbul’s Kultur College.
“Ankara and the EU, with out terminating the membership course of and tearing Turkey away from Europe, ought to set up a platform of equal partnership for the street forward,” Akgun stated.
“This partnership platform ought to have the ability to defend the edges’ financial and safety pursuits and encourage Turkey in direction of democratisation and respect for human rights,” he added.
Ulgen sees a cooler relationship within the playing cards for Turkey and the EU. “The lifelike choice for the edges is to seek out an alternate option to cooperate with out formally ending the membership talks, which can doubtless keep frozen within the present political local weather,” he stated.
Calls for and criticism
The EP decision immediately linked enhancements in sure areas of cooperation requested by Turkey, such because the modernisation of the 1995 customs union, to Turkey assembly EU calls for concerning freedom and human rights.
Domestically, the decision criticised Turkey on freedoms of the press, meeting and speech in addition to the political make-up of the ruling coalition, which got here to energy in elections the decision stated weren’t held “on a stage enjoying discipline” as they gave the incumbent a bonus.
It additionally slammed Turkey in varied international coverage areas, together with the delay in approving Sweden’s NATO membership in addition to Ankara’s insurance policies on the japanese Mediterranean, Syria, Cyprus, Libya and the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece – criticisms which were rejected by Ankara many occasions.
In line with Akgun, varied member states throughout the EU wouldn’t wish to tear down the membership course of as it could make them lose their “most important leverage” on Turkey.
However he did add that particular person international coverage calls for placed on Turkey by member states, reminiscent of those issued final week, present that the EU will not open its doorways to Turkey even when it fulfilled the financial and political standards of the bloc.
“The EU conditionality has not been engaged on Turkey with out a actual membership prospect, and subsequently, an alternate path to deal with frequent points is the way in which ahead,” he stated.