Martin Erdmann, the former German ambassador to Ankara, has urged the European Union to continue the membership negotiations with Turkey, recalling that the Turkish people are a democratic society as a whole with free elections.
“Negotiations with Turkey should not be ended. We cannot re-activate them a few years later, it would not be possible,” Erdmann told Germany’s radio channel Deutschlandfunk, daily Hürriyet reported on Aug 3.
Erdmann served in Ankara as the ambassador of Germany between the years of 2015 and 2020. He retired from the diplomatic service as of June 2020.
The veteran diplomat called on the EU not to end the accession process with Turkey despite developments in recent years, which raised concerns about the quality of democracy in the candidate country.
“The democratic reflexes function in Turkey. Turkish society is a democratic one as a whole. I have observed many elections in the last five years, and they were all free elections,” he stated.
Turkey began negotiations in 2005 but could open only around half of 35 chapters. Erdmann recalled that the European Council has already suspended the opening of the chapters in a 2018 decision.
The former diplomat said he believed that the EU should wait for the right time to resume talks with Turkey once the “complicated” situation would be left behind.
“Turkey is a resilient country, and it recovers quickly,” he said.