Dec 20 2017

Turkey and EU lack trust, need dialogue - Turkey’s EU ambassador

Turkey’s Ambassador to the European Union, Selim Yenel, said the main source of problems between Turkey and the EU was a lack of trust and dialogue.

Yenel’s comments came as he spoke at a Turkey–EU civil society meeting in Paris attended by Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik, Turkish pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah reported.

Yenel said the membership negotiations, the customs union agreement and visa liberalisation were the main problems between the union and Turkey, and that the current halt in bilateral talks harmed both parties.

New membership chapters were not being opened because the Cyprus administration was putting up obstacles; the customs union agreement signed in 1996, should now include agriculture, services and public procurement; and Turkey had now fulfilled 67 out of 75 criteria for the visa liberalisation process but the EU had not taken corresponding steps, Yenel said.

Noting that Turkey has not been invited to EU summits since 2004 after a change in European politics, Yenel asked, “Turkey is being criticized for moving away from Europe but is Turkey really moving away or is it being forced to do so?”