Erdogan tells EU it is decision time
29 April 2019

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the European Union needs to decide the future of its relations with Turkey. In a bullish speech to supporters  of his AK Party in the capital Ankara,  the president suggested the EU should halt full EU membership talks if they aren't serious and don't want Turkey in the political and economic union. He said Turkey's patience is running out for the EU's unrealised promises.

"Turkey has fulfilled all the criteria during the AK Party (Justice and Development Party) governments. Despite this, the only reason why we could not be a full members is the EU's inconsistent policies. As a country that has met all the liability and kept all its promises, we are expecting the same from the EU," Erdogan said at his party's assessment camp over the weekend.

Turkey's relations with the EU date back to 1963. The country was named one of the candidates in 1999, and negotiations for full membership started in 2005. EU has suspended talks with Turkey due to the EU's unhappiness with what the union has described as a decline of democratic norms in this country.

"A step that needs to be taken for either strengthening or cutting Turkey-EU ties [...] must be done by the Europeans. Don't you like, don't you want Turkey? Then, say: ‘We are parting ways,' and get it done. You already have no use for us," Erdogan said.

The president slammed the EU for making lame excuses to hinder Turkey's EU process and said their pretexts have been unfounded and baseless, a fact known by both the EU and the European Parliament.

"They opt for accusing Turkey in order to conceal their unprincipled stance," the president stated. Specifically, he accused the EU of not keeping promises to provide financial assistance to the Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey.

Turkey has wasted a lot of energy on membership talks, but the EU is still delaying the process, Erdogan said.

"They did the same on visa liberalisation and customs union, and they are still delaying. We will patiently wait for the realisation of promises, but it won't be forever."

source: with Anadolu news agency and Hurriyet Daily News.

photo: Recip Tayip Erdogan addressing supporters of his AK party in Ankara on 27 April 2019. (picture courtesy of Hurriyet daily news).