The speaker of the Turkish parliament said on Tuesday that European Union membership is still one of Turkey’s strategic goals, the Daily Sabah has reported.
“Strengthening and protecting Turkey’s EU orientation will be in everyone’s best interest,” said Mustafa Sentop before his meeting in Ankara with Rik Daems, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Sentop added that Turkey had recently accelerated its reforms towards EU membership. “There is a legitimate expectation that our reform efforts are also supported by the union.”
In April 1987, Turkey submitted an application for full EU membership. However, due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration, as well as opposition from Germany and France, negotiations with the EU stalled in 2007. Relations between Turkey and the EU remained static until 2015 when momentum was required to deal with the refugee crisis.
Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, the heads of the European Commission and European Council respectively, will visit Turkey next week to discuss the future of Turkish-EU ties with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.