Turkey accepts EU accession process is dead – analyst

Turkey’s European Union accession process is over, and Turkey is well aware of that fact, AFP quoted Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, as saying.

"There is an understanding on both sides that the accession process is dead and won't go anywhere soon," Aydıntaşbaş said.

"So we are essentially talking about a new format and a more transactional relationship with European member states. Ankara sees this as such and entertains no illusions about revitalising the accession process," she told AFP.

This acceptance of a transactional relationship – and the shrugging off of the frustrations of the unmoving accession process – might have been part of the reason why 2018 began with Turkey on better terms with Europe, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan heading to France and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu visiting Germany, AFP said.

"It's clear that we must move away from this hypocrisy of thinking a natural progression towards the opening of new chapters is possible when this is not true," it quoted Emmanuel Macron as saying after his talks with Erdoğan.

In this sense, Turkey’s acceptance that the process has failed may allow it to gain from better trade relations and warmer ties, AFP said.

"Turkey is warming up to Europe and there is a deliberate effort from leaders in Ankara to distance themselves from the acerbic language and accusations," Aydıntaşbaş said.