Erdoğan says EU 'cannot endure strongly' without Turkey

In a statement released on Sunday, Europe Day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the EU “has not kept its promises to Turkey.”

“By developing common policies, the European Union has made significant contributions to the establishment of peace, stability and prosperity in our continent and beyond.”

But today,  Erdoğan said, the EU faces numerous challenges, and to overcome them, it should keep “an inclusive perspective.”

“It is obvious that the Union cannot endure strongly, without the contribution and the support of our country,” Erdoğan insisted.

Yet, the European Union has not kept its promises regarding full membership and Turkey’s accession process has always been hampered., he maintained.

“We wish that the European Union will demonstrate its ability to develop its relations with Turkey based on mutual respect and trust, with a strategic point of view and common sense,” Erdogan said, adding that the EU has had a “double standard” with regard to Turkey.

Despite the EU’s unfair attitude, Turkey will continue to seek full membership in the bloc.

Turkey’s membership will pave the way for the rise of a Europe, that is more effective at regional and global levels, gives hope not only to its citizens, but also to the people of its neighbourhood as well as the whole World,” he concluded.  

Erdoğan called for full EU membership for Turkey to the EU. “[This] will enrich the Union with a more participatory and inclusive vision and transform the EU into a global actor,” he concluded.

The message is not likely to be heard by the EU Commission at this time, however.  

Negotiations for Turkey to join the EU should be scrapped if the government does not change its behaviour on a number of areas, including the rule of law and fundamental rights, a group of the bloc's lawmakers has said.

Members of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee backed a new report on Turkey's EU accession by 49 votes, with four against and 14 abstentions on Thursday.

In their report, MEPs say EU-Turkey relations have plummeted to a “historic low point” after Ankara has “distanced itself deliberately” from European values and waged a “hostile foreign policy” toward Greece and Cyprus.

“If the current negative trend is not urgently and consistently reversed, the [European] Commission should recommend that accession negotiations be formally suspended,” the committee said on April 7, in a statement on the issue.