Ankara received no sign at the March 26 Turkey-EU leaders meeting in Varna that the bloc will display “a fair attitude” toward Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on March 27.
“At the summit we could not see any signal that the EU’s approach to us will be based on fair ground,” Yıldırım said in an address to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) lawmakers at parliament.
Participants at the Varna meeting “may have been well-intentioned, but the practices do not verify this good intention,” he added.
“We are uncomfortable that Turkey’s struggle against all terrorist organizations is seen be seen as an obstacle to our relations,” Yıldırım said, in apparent reference to EU criticism of Ankara’s sweeping crackdown based on supposed “anti-terror” measures.
The prime minister said Turkey would “maintain its perspective for full membership of the EU,” while stressing that it should continue in a way that “suits the interests of both sides.”
If Turkey’s full membership bid is to come to an end, it should be the EU side that decides to walk away first, he added.
“What is the decision of the European Union regarding Turkey? We cannot allow the EU to wear Turkey out,” Yıldırım said.
He claimed that Turkey has “fulfilled its obligations to the EU” but the process is in a standstill because of “problems and political obstructions” generated by Brussels.
“Will the EU proceed with a new vision, a vision of enlargement, an inclusive vision? Or will it proceed by retiring into its shell?” Yıldırım said.
His remarks came one day after a Turkey-EU leaders meeting with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Varna, Bulgaria.