Turkey is “tired” of its EU membership process and it cannot request for membership in the bloc indefinitely, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Paris on Friday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Paris, Erdogan said: “We cannot continuously ask the EU, ‘please take us, too’ now,”
Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community, a precursor to the EU, in 1987.
It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005.
The Turkish president said that despite the fact that the Turkey-EU process began decades ago, the country was not granted membership.
“When we ask for the reason, the EU cannot tell us. And, at first they were preventing us via 15 [EU policy] chapters; later the number of the chapters regarding us was increased to 35.”
To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.
For his part, President Emmanuel Macron called for cooperation and open dialogue to discuss Turkey’s EU membership.
In his remarks at the joint news conference, Macron said “two-facedness” in Turkey-EU ties should come to an end.
“As France, we believe that future of Turkey and Turkish people should be in Europe,” Macron said.
Erdogan also spoke about the two countries’ strategic military partnership and mentioned NATO.
Earlier, Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defense Industries and Franco-Italian manufacturer Eurosam signed an anti-missile defense system agreement./Anadolu