Excluding Turkey, denying its EU candidacy ‘no use’: FM

World  |
Editor : Tevfik Sayraç
2018-11-23 07:46:14

Turkey expects full EU membership and it shouldn't be faced with political obstacles, says Mevlut Cavusoglu

Excluding Turkey, denying its EU candidacy ‘no use’: FM

Making statements while excluding Turkey in the EU accession process or denying its candidacy is of "no use", Turkey's foreign minister said on Thursday.

Turkey expects full EU membership and it "shouldn't be faced with political obstacles," Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a joint news conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and EU Neighborhood Policy Minister Johannes Hahn in the capital Ankara. 

According to Cavusoglu, each political obstacle set by the bloc against Turkey prevents the growth, prosperity and political stability of the EU.

The minister emphasized that the March 18, 2016 refugee deal must be fully implemented, adding that the EU should also carry out some of its obligations as part of the deal.

He said Turkey fulfilled 72 criteria and had six remaining to be able to travel to Schengen countries visa-free. "We will fulfilthe remaining criteria soon."

Hahn, for his part, said the negotiations gained momentum and added that Turkey's constructive attitude for the EU membership was important for negotiations.

Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March 2016, which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The March 18 deal also allowed for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area.

Reenergizing accession process

In a joint statement dated Nov. 29, 2015, the EU and Turkey had confirmed their commitment to reenergize the accession process.

Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community -- a precursor to the EU -- in 1987. It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005.

However, almost a year later, on Nov. 24, the European Parliament approved a non-binding motion to freeze EU-membership talks with Turkey, in response to post-coup investigations and recent developments in the country including measures taken within the framework of the fight against the PKK and FETO terrorist groups.

Mentioning the terrorist attacks both in Turkey and in the EU countries in recent years, Cavusoglu said close cooperation against foreign terrorist fighters and elements feeding terrorism in the region would be for the benefit of both the EU and Turkey.

"We expect more concrete support from the EU member states in our counterterrorism efforts," Turkish FM said.

"The latest decision by the European Court of Justice on the PKK is important.

"The PKK is a terrorist organization and should continue to be on the list of terrorists," Cavusoglu said, warning that the PKK's presence and allowing its symbols in the EU institutions and EU member states "is not something we can accept".

Turkey welcomes the measures taken against the PKK in some European countries especially in Germany and England, said Cavusoglu. "However, these are insufficient."

Last week, the European Court of Justice ruled to keep the PKK on EU's terror list.

The PKK applied to the court in May 2014 in order to be relieved of the restrictions placed upon it due to the terror attacks it had carried out. It has been on the EU terror list since 2002.

Source : AA
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