Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared that Turkey no longer expects anything from Brussels, as it has waited for decades to become a member of the European Union (EU). Speaking to parliament after a summer recess on Sunday, Erdogan stated, “We have kept all the promises we have made to the EU, but they have kept almost none of theirs.” According to Erdogan, Turkey has been kept waiting at the EU’s door for 60 years, and he insisted that Ankara no longer expects anything from the European Union.
Erdogan also criticized the EU’s approach towards Turkey, particularly in relation to issuing visas to Turkish nationals. He warned that if Brussels does not correct its “unjust” approach, they will lose the right to expect anything from Turkey. Erdogan believes that the EU’s visa denials are covert sanctions against Turkey.
Turkey has recently expressed its dissatisfaction with an increasing number of its citizens having their Schengen visa applications rejected. However, the EU denies creating any additional obstacles for Turks. Turkey, which is geographically located mostly in Asia, has long aspired to become an EU member. It officially applied for membership in 1987 and became a candidate in 1999. Although accession talks began in 2005, they have been slow and came to a halt in 2016. Over the past few years, Brussels has criticized Ankara for the consolidation of power by Erdogan, which it believes contradicts EU laws.
Earlier this month, the European Parliament approved a report criticizing Turkey for curtailment of “fundamental freedoms, human rights and civil liberties, as well as by its actions going against international law and good neighborly relations.” Erdogan responded to this report by warning that Turkey may decide to part ways with the EU due to the treatment it has received.
Turkey’s relationship with the EU has been strained in recent years, and Erdogan’s statements reflect the growing frustration within the Turkish government. As the visa denials continue and the EU makes critical assessments of Turkey’s actions, Turkey has become disillusioned with the prospects of EU membership. Erdogan’s remarks indicate that Turkey is no longer pinning its hopes on Brussels and is willing to consider alternative paths for its future. The relationship between Turkey and the EU remains uncertain, and it is unclear how it will develop in the coming years.