Turkey's 24-Year Quest to Join EU May Be Ending

Erdogan suggests nation may split with European Union after accusations of 'democratic backsliding'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 16, 2023 11:30 AM CDT
Turkey's 24-Year Quest to Join EU May Be Ending
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen during a press conference in New Delhi, India, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey may part ways with the European Union, implying that the country is thinking about ending its bid to join the 27-nation bloc. "The EU is making efforts to sever ties with Turkey," he told reporters before departing for the 78th UN General Assembly in New York, per the AP. "We will evaluate the situation, and if needed, we will part ways with the EU." He was responding to a question about a recent report adopted by the European Parliament, which stated that "the accession process cannot resume under the current circumstances, and calls on EU to explore 'a parallel and realistic framework' for EU-Turkiye relations."

Turkey applied to join the European Union in 1999, and accession talks began in 2005. Accession negotiations were frozen in 2018 because of what the European Parliament has called "democratic backsliding," especially where it concerns human rights and the rule of law, per Reuters. Earlier this week, Turkey's Foreign Ministry called the report's allegations unfounded and biased, adding that the European Parliament took "a shallow and nonvisionary" approach to Turkey's EU ties. Politico notes that those ties have broken down "amid Erdogan's increasingly autocratic behavior following a failed coup attempt in 2016."

(More Recep Tayyip Erdogan stories.)

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