Erdoğan urges EU to make decision on Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said it was time the European Union decided whether to carry on with Turkey’s accession process or end it altogether.

Turkey was named an official EU candidate country in 1999, and negotiations for full membership started in 2005. In March, the European Parliament called for the suspension of Turkey’s accession talks, citing violations of human rights and the rule of law.

“Turkey has fulfilled all the criteria during the AK Party (Justice and Development Party) governments,” Erdoğan said at a ruling party event in Ankara on Saturday, according to Hürriyet Daily News.  

Of 35 so-called chapters, or subjects of negotiation, a candidate country needs to complete to enter the EU, Turkey has only started talks on 16 of them and completed just one.

“A step that needs to be taken for either strengthening or cutting Turkey-EU ties ... must be done by the Europeans. Don’t you like, don’t you want Turkey? Then, say: ‘We are parting ways,’ and get it done. You already have no use for us,” he said.

On Saturday, the German politician expected to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president reiterated his desire to end Turkish accession negotiations.

"We are proud that this continent has a Christian influence,” Manfred Weber said in western Germany. "We want a partnership, a friendship, but we must end accession negotiations with Turkey.”

The European Union is to hold elections to its European parliament in late May.

Erdoğan accused the EU for making excuses to hinder Turkey’s EU process. “We will patiently wait for the realisation of promises, but it won’t be forever,” he said.