A 2021 country report on Turkey by the European Parliament is biased and unrealistic, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, accusing the report of being unconstructive in furthering ties between Ankara and Brussels.
Releasing a statement after the legislative body's General Assembly approved the report earlier in the day, the Foreign Ministry said Ankara does not accept the report which ignores the need to strengthen relations between Turkey and the European Union through mutual efforts.
Turkey primarily expects the European Parliament not to become a tool for "narrow-minded circles," as well as to have an encouraging attitude toward EU institutions for the revival of the accession talks, it added.
However, it has so far taken the "opposite stance," the statement asserted, adding that this attitude is "not surprising" from the European Parliament, which tolerates members of terrorist groups making terrorist propaganda.
The European Parliament had lost its credibility in the eyes of the Turkish public, the ministry said and stressed that the "baseless views" in the report reflecting claims on democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Turkey and the "narrow-minded" efforts of some EU members relating to the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus issues were "of no use to us."
Turkey expects the EU and all EU institutions to fulfill their obligations towards Ankara, revitalize the accession process, accelerate dialogue on visa liberalization, start talks to update the Customs Union, increase cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and, especially, implement the 2016 voluntary humanitarian admission scheme within the scope of migration cooperation, it said.
The statement said that instead of encouraging steps to be taken on these issues, the report constitutes a new example of the European Parliament's detached, ideological, and biased attitude and only damages its reputation.
In recent years, Turkey-EU relations have been marked by disputes on several issues, including tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey's role in Syria, the migrant crisis and the stalemate in Turkey's accession process to join the bloc. However, Turkey recently reiterated that it is part of Europe and sees its future in the EU, adding that it will continue to work toward full membership.
Ankara is calling to reenergize the accession process, update the EU-Turkey Customs Union, regular high-level dialogues, visa liberalization and counterterrorism.
Turkey has the longest history with the union and the longest negotiation process. The country signed an association agreement with the EU's predecessor in 1964, the European Economic Community (EEC), which is usually regarded as a first step to eventually becoming a candidate. Applying for official candidacy in 1987, Turkey had to wait until 1999 to be granted the status of a candidate country. For the start of the negotiations, however, Turkey had to wait for another six years, until 2005, a uniquely long process compared with other candidates.