Türkiye can part ways with the European Union if it sees necessary, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, criticizing Brussels for trying to cut off ties with the candidate country in a specific reaction to a report by the European Parliament.
“The European Union is in an effort to drift apart from Türkiye. We can make our own assessment, and in the light of this assessment, we may part our ways with the EU if necessary,” Erdoğan told reporters before his departure to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly.
Erdoğan made this statement on a question about an annual report by the European Parliament, which has argued that Türkiye needs a rooted change in its policies for the resumption of the accession talks. It also said that Türkiye’s backsliding in democracy and human rights was continuing.
Türkiye strongly reacted to the report by the European parliamentarians as it underlined that it came right at a moment when Ankara and Brussels were in an effort to re-engage by prioritizing the modernization of the customs union and visa facilitation.
Erdoğan had meetings with European Council President Charles Michel both at the Vilnius summit of NATO in July and in New Delhi during the G20 summit in early September. In addition, EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi recently paid a two-day visit to Ankara to hold talks with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. The two men agreed on a road map to work on concrete issues as part of the positive agenda.
On a question on Sweden’s bid to join NATO, Erdoğan said the ratification of the Nordic state will be decided by the Turkish Parliament but this applicant country should fulfill the necessary obligations to become a member of the North Atlantic alliance.
Busy schedule in New York
During his stay in New York, Erdoğan will pursue active diplomacy on key regional and global issues, particularly on the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Erdoğan said he will meet U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to work on the resumption of the Black Sea grain initiative. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky will also join the U.N. General Assembly in person this year.
Erdoğan said among issues he will raise in New York will be the need for reforming the U.N., especially the five-member Security Council. “We are particularly satisfied by the fact that our view that we voice in every platform, ‘the world is bigger than five’ is being more and more confirmed. Lately, the U.N. secretary-general has voiced a very decisive approach to this. We share his view that the institutions of the post-Second World War do not represent today’s world,” he said.
Erdoğan said he will hold many bilateral meetings with world leaders and meet with the representatives of the Turks living in the United States as well as the senior executives of the financial institutions.
As part of his bilateral meetings, Erdoğan will hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. He will address the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 19 and will mention about the role Türkiye has been playing in dealing with regional and global conflicts.__Daily Hurriyet