Frustrated Turkey still wants EU entry, but maybe not euro

Frustrated Turkey still wants EU entry, but maybe not euro

Turkey is committed to joining the European Union despite mounting frustration over decades of talks on the issue but has little appetite for adopting the euro currency, a senior Turkish official said on Wednesday Today`s Zaman reported

In a speech in London, Turkey's chief negotiator on EU accession said it was time the EU made up its mind on whether Turkey can join the 27-member bloc and said it should be allowed in even if some countries object.

Talks on Turkish integration into Europe originally began in 1963, but the intractable dispute over the divided island of Cyprus -- an EU member that Turkey does not recognize -- have blocked talks on several policy issues candidate states must conclude before entry.

"We want to be in the EU, but the EU has to make a decision. The decision to start the negotiation process with Turkey was a unanimous decision, and only a unanimous decision can put an end to this process," Egemen Bagısh, EU affairs minister and senior member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), said. "If there's one principle of the EU I would like to criticize it's the unanimity principle. ... One single member country, the Greek Cypriots, can block the opening of the energy chapter," he said, accusing Greek Cyprus of holding the EU "hostage."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the delay was "unforgivable," warning that the EU would lose Turkey, a mostly Muslim and largely conservative country, if it was not granted membership by 2023.

Enthusiasm among the Turkish public for EU membership is waning given the bloc's economic woes, particularly the sovereign debt crisis hitting some members of the currency union, but Bagısh was confident any referendum would pass. "If there was a vote today I could easily get a yes vote ... on membership of the EU, but I'm not so sure about joining the eurozone," Bagısh said.

Growing influence

That could pose problems for accession given that joining the eurozone single currency bloc is a condition for entry. However, Bagısh said economic circumstances and opposition to the euro could change by the time accession is agreed.

Formal talks to join the EU have stalled since they were launched in 2005, and Turkey has completed only one of the 35 chapters need for entry.

On Tuesday, France said it was ready to unblock membership talks on one of the chapters, in contrast to its position under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said Turkey did not form part of Europe.

Bagısh said France's change of heart was "better late than never," and lambasted "narrow-minded" politicians who have objected to accession, citing discrimination and Islamophobia.

Some EU countries express concern about Turkey's handling of human rights, freedom of expression and treatment of minorities. Turkey says it is addressing those concerns and on Wednesday drafted changes to its penal code.

Bagısh dismissed concerns about mass Turkish emigration to other EU countries after accession, saying that Turkey's growing economic clout meant that it instead was at risk from immigration from other EU states.

"Of course, every nation has their pride. So does mine. And no country has been kept in the waiting room for 54 years. Sometimes our reactions might seem emotional, but believe me if anyone else was in our shoes..." he said, referring to when Turkey applied for association with the then European Economic Community.

Turkey, a long-time NATO member, has seen its diplomatic influence rise alongside its economic prosperity. The Islamist-rooted AK Party says Turkey has jumped to the 16th largest economy in the world from 26th since it came to power in 2002.

Turkey's stock is particularly high in the Middle East, where it is seen as a model for a prosperous Islamic democracy, and has won admiration for its tough stance on Israel.

Bagısh touted Turkey's sway in the Middle East as a major boon for Europe should it be allowed to join the EU. "The EU is the grandest peace project in the history of mankind. ... Turkey, being the most Eastern part of the West, and the most Western part of the East, can turn this continental project into a global peace project," he said.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
US shares specific data on cybercrime with Russia, awaits its actions, White House says
US shares specific data on cybercrime with Russia, awaits its actions, White House says
Russia, Venezuela developing secured messenger — Rostec
Russia, Venezuela developing secured messenger — Rostec
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Loading Bars
US shares specific data on cybercrime with Russia, awaits its actions, White House says
Saudi Arabia appoints Al-Rabiah as new Hajj minister
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Turkish A Haber TV channel on October 16, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 16, 2020
Czech PM Babis pledges smooth power handover to opposition
UK MP dies after being stabbed at constituency meeting
China’s Shenzhou-13 manned spacecraft successfully reach orbit
Four migrants dead, 21 missing off Spanish coast
FIA approves schedule for Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2022
COVID-19 kills 197 more Iranians over past 24 hours
Georgian FM meets Slovenian counterpart
Armenia trying to prepare ground for new provocations against Azerbaijan by spreading fake information - MoD
Azerbaijani FM discusses mine threat in liberated territories with French CNEMA delegates (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan lifts flight restrictions for number of countries
Azerbaijani President signs law "On Independence Day"
EBRD to allocate loan to Turkmen beverage company
Azerbaijan records decline in fixed capital revenues for 9M2021
Turkmenistan, WB talk new areas of co-op
Uzbek-Korean JV announces tender to buy clarifier
Gasoline prices in Georgia increase
Money transfers to Azerbaijan via Golden Crown service grow for 9M2021
Iran looking to develop renewable energy - SATBA
Azerbaijani MoD discusses mine clearing in liberated territories with French delegation (PHOTO)
Iran eyeing increase in trade with Spain
Export-oriented local Georgian company to get benefits within USAID program
Saudi Arabia to ease coronavirus curbs from Oct. 17
Russia, Venezuela developing secured messenger — Rostec
Kazatomprom to look for new ways to bolster nuclear energy for peaceful purposes
Turkmenistan discloses area allotted for sowing winter barley in Dashoguz region
Agreement with Azerbaijan on additional gas supplies aimed at ensuring Turkey's gas reserves – Erdogan
First container train on its way to Azerbaijan's Karabakh (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Uzbekneftegaz receives gas flow from well at Khojikazgan field
Kazakhstan to exempt Caspian oil exports from customs duties
Kazakhstan unveils data on trade with other EAEU states
Volume of financial assets of non-financial corporations in Georgia increases
LUKOIL Uzbekistan to buy ceramic balls for catalysts via tender
Azerbaijan, as victorious country, is ready to normalize relations. We hope that Armenian leadership will not pass up on this historic opportunity - President Aliyev
U.S. administers 405.4 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines
Кazakh national telecommunications operator opens tender to buy spares
Geostat shares data on revenues of Georgian enterprises for 2020
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Netherlands’ FMO is open to new investments in Uzbek financial sector (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan confirms 1,850 more COVID-19 cases, 735 recoveries
Student of Baku Higher Oil School: ‘I am proud to bear the name of such a historical figure!’
French Renault begins production and commercial activities in Uzbekistan
NEQSOL Holding supports ADA University’s project to restore Gazakh Seminary (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan's agrarian agency discloses volume of issued subsidies in 9M2021
Money transfers to Georgia exceed investments
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Georgian air cargo transportation decreases
Azerbaijan ready to start talks with Armenia on delimitation of borders - President Ilham Aliyev
TAP helped in reducing European gas market volatility
Armenia has destroyed 16 of the 17 mosques in Shusha - President Aliyev
President Ilham Aliyev: Armenia refuses to provide us with full maps of mined areas
For about 30 years, Armenia, together with Iran, used former occupied territories of Azerbaijan for drug trafficking to Europe - President Aliyev
Illegal Armenian armed forces attempt new provocation against Azerbaijani units
Azerbaijan's State Employment Agency to launch project on financial support of entrepreneurs
President Ilham Aliyev hailed special role of President Vladimir Putin in cessation of hostilities in Karabakh
City of Aghdam was called “Hiroshima of the Caucasus” - Azerbaijani president
Karabakh conflict has been consigned to history - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan takes part in meeting of heads of security and intelligence agencies of CIS
Brent oil price on the ICE exchange up over $ 85/barrel
Iran seeks to transform its ports to transshipment hubs
Microfinance sector in Georgia hopes to rebound from COVID-19, shares forecast
President Ilham Aliyev attends CIS Heads of State Council's session in video conference format (PHOTO)
France's intention to take part in de-mining of Azerbaijan's lands - important, MP says
Death toll climbs to seven following fatal gun battles in Beirut
Azerbaijani ombudsman issues statement on anniversary of shelling of funeral procession in Tartar by Armenian troops
EBRD talks on financing of construction of high-voltage transmission line in Uzbekistan
Israeli companies getting increasingly interested in Russian market — Lavrov
TAP compensated decreasing share of imports from Norway and other LNG to Europe
Azerbaijan’s Parliament adopts bill ‘On Independence Day’
Agriculture goods production increases in Kazakhstan
Turkmenistan’s cotton mill shares export data for 9M2021
Kazakhstan unveils data on local car insurance
Turkmen enterprise reveals volume of oil products shipped to consumers
Uzbekistan approves funding for dozen of scientific projects
Azerbaijan’s Parliament to send congratulatory letter to President Ilham Aliyev, First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva
Azerbaijani agrarian agency talks female entrepreneurs provided with preferential loans
Uzbekistan reveals number of vaccinated citizens as of October 15
Kazakhstan boosts cargo transportation by road
USAID ready to continue investing in agriculture dev’t in Azerbaijan
JOCAP updates on offshore installation campaign for Absheron field
JOCAP details ongoing works at Azerbaijan’s Absheron gas field
Georgia shares data on COVID-19 cases for October 15
IEA lowers forecasts for Azerbaijan’s 2022 oil output
Georgian honey exports skyrocket, following COVID-ravaged year
Azersu OJSC eyes attracting investments for implementation of its projects
Oil prices climb on power boost, set for multi-week gains
Brand new iPhone 13 smartphones with 50GB free internet now available at Azercell Exclusive shops!
Georgia and International Labor Organization to launch new co-op programs
Kazakhstan eyes expanding share of exports of Russian trading house
Uzbekistan shares COVID-19 data for October 15
Turkmenistan, UN discuss strategic cooperation
Kazakhstan's Aktau port opens tender to buy electric valve actuator
Azerbaijan, Turkey ink deal for additional gas supply
SOCAR-STP certified by American Petroleum Institute for manufacturing products
Russia, Israel to coordinate efforts at UN to counter history revision
IEA evaluates Azerbaijan’s OPEC+ compliance
Iran building a new port in Golestan Province
All news