Opening, closing all EU chapters in 6 months possible - AKP spokesperson

Turkey has the capacity to open and close all chapters in its over decade-long EU-bid within six months if principled negotiations are carried out, ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik said on Saturday.

“If a principled negotiation process is carried out, I claim that Turkey has the capacity and close all the chapters within six months. If that does not happen, Turkey would go its own way,” state-run Anadolu news reported Çelik as saying at an Ankara consultation meeting in Turkish capital of Ankara.

Turkey accession talks to join the bloc began in 2005; however, the negotiations have stalled for a host of reasons, including objections from numerous member countries. In November 2016, the European Parliament voted in favour of a non-binding resolution to request that the European Commission temporarily suspend Turkey’s membership negotiations for "disproportionate repressive measures" of the government to the July 2016 coup attempt.

The AKP spokesperson recalled Erdoğan’s earlier statement on holding referendum over its EU bid, noting “He [Erdoğan] says, ‘Let us ask this to the 81 million people [living in Turkey]. This after all is an emphasis on the fact that the final decision regarding the country’s important issues belongs to the nation.”

Ankara has recently launched initiatives to restart Turkey’s EU membership negotiation process.

Turkey must open 35 policy chapters involving reforms and the adoption of European standards to complete the accession process, of which only 16 have been opened and one has been closed to date.