"The central issue is opening the chapters. In this respect, Turkey hopes it will never hit double standards” from the EU, Numan Kurtulmus, who also serves as government spokesman, told reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

His remarks come in the wake of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to a NATO summit in Brussels last week, where he held bilateral talks with EU leaders on Turkey's accession to the union.

Kurtulmus said the Foreign Ministry would work on priority issues between Turkey and the EU, adding, "These issues will be discussed with EU authorities."

"Opening the chapters will form the main point of Turkish-EU relations," he said.

The deputy PM added: "Opening the chapters has a vital role for Turkey to defuse tension and to develop a joint understanding."

Turkey officially applied for EU membership in 1987, and accession talks began in 2005.

Negotiations hit a stalemate in 2007 over the Cyprus issue. The German and French governments have also opposed the country’s full EU membership.

To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.

Anadolu Agency