Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairperson Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu wrote a letter on Thursday, urging the European Union member states and the Party of European Socialists (PES) to not exclude Turkey and discuss the country's accession process.
Addressing the chairpersons of PES and the ambassadors of EU-member states in Turkey, Kılıçdaroğlu said his party would like to contribute to the EU and ensure that humanity as a whole benefits from the bloc’s contributions.
Noting that permanent peace is one of the founding principles of the Republic of Turkey, Kılıçdaroğlu said his party sees EU membership as a fundamental goal.
“I am personally very sorry about the fact that Turkey’s accession process is never mentioned in EU summits and Turkey is only mentioned in terms of its foreign policy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The main opposition leader also noted that he welcomed the positive developments that took place in December 2020.
After a tumultuous year in Turkey-EU relations marked by disputes over drilling rights and maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey’s leaders have said that they hope for progress in 2021 and expect the bloc to take definitive action to this end.
Last month, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey is ready to set a “positive agenda” with the EU, including a long-term perspective, underlining that the relations must get back on track.
Turkey remains determined regarding its reform agenda and seeks support from the EU in making its new initiatives a reality, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.
Relations between the EU and Turkey were strained last year over the Eastern Mediterranean crisis. Ankara has also criticized the bloc for failing to fulfill pledges as part of a migrant deal.
In March 2016, Ankara and Brussels signed an agreement to reduce the number of migrants taking the dangerous Aegean Sea route to Europe and to find a solution for the influx of migrants heading to EU countries.
Under the deal, Turkey was promised 6 billion euros ($6.77 billion) in financial aid to be used by the Turkish government to finance projects for Syrian migrants. Yet Turkey did not undertake the difficult task of shouldering increasing migration from Syria only for the sake of financial assistance but has also demanded visa liberalization for Turkish citizens; likewise, the customs union was to be updated.
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