threat of strategic rupture or bluff?

threat of strategic rupture or bluff

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the European Union this Saturday of seeking to turn away from his country, while the accession negotiations started in 2005 have been at a standstill for years. Erdogan even raised the possibility of Turkey abandoning this objective.

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This is not the first time that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has challenged the European Union to bury accession negotiations with Turkey. But before this Saturday, September 16, he had never threatened so clearly to put an end to it himself, by accusing the EU of distancing itself from Turkey.

The EU seeks to cut itself off from Turkey […] We will conduct our own assessment and could separate from the EU if necessary “, declared the Turkish president. He was then questioned about the latest report from the European Parliament, published at the beginning of the week, which estimated once again that the accession process could not resume in the current circumstances.

Accession negotiations are currently at a standstill. For them to resume, there are very clear criteria […] which must be taken into account, linked to democracy and the rule of law », warned the Hungarian commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, visiting Ankara on September 6.

Threats to take seriously?

If they are not surprising on the part of the Turkish president, these declarations nevertheless come at a time when Turkey is trying to relaunch its candidacy, recalls our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer. Since his re-election in May, Tayyip Erdogan has affirmed several times that membership – requested for 60 years – remains his country’s objective.

It is still early to say whether these remarks foreshadow a strategic break between Turkey and the EU, or whether it is a “bluff” by Tayyip Erdogan to push the Europeans to make a decision, or to move forward on other issues of tension with Turkey, such as Schengen visas.

Turkey, still officially a candidate for the EU, submitted its application in 1987 to the European Economic Community and in 1999 to the European Union, but the accession negotiations begun in 2005 have been at a standstill for several years.

(And with AFP)