Turkey still eyeing full EU membership, says Erdoğan

Turkey will continue to pursue a full EU membership more than three decades into its efforts to join the 28-member bloc, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wrote in an article he penned for French newspaper Le Figaro on Sunday.

The Turkish president’s article arrives as he visits Paris on the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron and is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his American, French, German and Russian counterparts.

Noting that he is in Paris to attend a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the cease-fire that ended World War I, the Turkish president highlighted the importance of permanent peace while stating that world leaders will be exchanging ideas in preventing the outbreak of similar wars in the future.

‘’As Turkey, we will continue our efforts towards full membership in the EU, the most important peace project in European history,’’ Erdoğan wrote, stressing Turkey’s continued interest in the EU.

‘’We will continue to support administrations promoting democracy and freedom in the Middle East,’’ he added.

Turkey was first officially recognised as a candidate for full EU membership in 1999. Negotiations began in 2005, but have since stalled, with the abolition of its Ministry for EU Affairs under the latest Turkish government a sign of the lack of progress.