Turkey is determined to continue the course of European integration to build its future with Europe, Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan said.
“We remain committed to European integration, strive to build our future together with Europe, and aim to cooperate with all friendly countries and allies. Turkey is ready to actively use its close allied relations with the United States to resolve regional and global problems,” Erdogan said, addressing members of the ruling justice and development Party via videoconference. The broadcast was conducted on Twitter of the Turkish leader.
He added that Turkey is determined to occupy a worthy niche in the new world order that will emerge after the pandemic.
Turkey signed an Association Agreement with the EU (then the EEC) in 1963 and applied for membership in the Union in 1987. However, accession negotiations did not begin until 2005 and were repeatedly suspended due to disagreements. Currently, 16 of the 35 chapters of the negotiation dossier are open. In March 2016, Brussels stepped up negotiations in exchange for Turkey’s agreement to help reduce the influx of migrants to Europe.
However, relations between the EU and Turkey deteriorated after the armed coup attempt in the country in the summer of 2016 – the European Union criticized the subsequent reaction of the Turkish authorities, mass arrests, and other measures of Ankara and suspended preparations for the opening of new chapters of the negotiating dossier on Turkey’s accession to the European Union.