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Erdogan: Turkey can “part ways” with the European Union

This Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a statement that Turkey might part ways with the European Union.

Erdogan emphasised that the country is thinking of ending its ambition to join the 27-nation bloc. He told reporters before leaving for the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York:

 “The EU is making efforts to sever ties with Turkey. We will evaluate the situation, and if needed we will part ways with the EU.”

Erdogan was responding to a question about a recent European Parliament report, which noted:

“The EU accession process cannot be resumed under the current conditions and called on the EU to explore a ‘parallel and realistic framework’ for EU-Turkey relations.”

A week earlier, Turkey’s foreign minister reiterated the country’s determination to join the EU and urged the bloc to take bold steps to advance its bid.

Turkey applied to join the European Union in 1999, and accession negotiations began in 2005. Accession talks were suspended in 2018 due to “democratic backsliding”, according to the European Parliament.

In July, Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said that the country looked up to the EU as source of inspiration for change, in an attempt to revive shelved talks. “That is the best alternative out there,” he said.


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