Turkey wants to improve relations with the European Union by setting a positive agenda with the bloc while hoping for the same approach from the EU as well, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 12.
“We, as a country, are ready to set a positive agenda and get our relations back on track with a long-term perspective. We expect our European friends to show the same will,” he said, addressing the EU envoys in Ankara.
His comments follow a year of tensions involving Turkey’s more assertive foreign policy in the eastern Mediterranean as well as Libya and parts of the Middle East.
Erdoğan also said he was open to improving relations with Paris after months of personal feuds with French President Emmanuel Macron. “We want to save our relations with France from tensions.”
The year 2020 was not easy in terms of Turkey-EU relations, he said, noting that they had to deal with many “unpleasant issues, most of which were artificially produced.”
Some member countries aimed to solve their bilateral problems with Turkey through the interference of the EU, he stated, emphasizing that under the “pretext of solidarity, Turkey-EU agenda was abused.”
“While this approach captures our deep-rooted relationships, it also undermines the European Union’s claim to be a global power,” Erdoğan said.
“The most concrete indicator of this attitude, which we call strategic blindness, is the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus issue. We were subjected to serious injustices in the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus,” he added.
During the talks in Brussels in March 2020, Turkey and the EU agreed to update the migrant deal, but Ankara did not get a response to its offer, he added.
Regular Turkey-EU summit meetings and high-level dialogue should start again, Erdoğan stated.
Hurriyet Daily News