Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, that EU membership remains a long-term goal for Turkey.
“The EU is still a strategic aim for us. There is no change,” Cavusoglu told reporters after meeting with his Polish counterpart Witold Waszczykowski and Romanian counterpart Lazar Comanescu.
In the wake of the July 15 defeated coup, Cavusoglu asserted that some EU countries had failed to pass the test when it comes to defending democracy.
“We, on the other hand, are thankful to brother countries who expressed their support [to the government] from the first day [after the coup bid] and then visited us,” Cavusoglu said.
He also stressed the connection between three agreements between Turkey and the EU: the visa-free travel deal, readmission deal, and refugee deal.
“These agreements are connected to each other. We all should implement all three of these agreements,” Cavusoglu said. “It is not right to say, ‘Let’s implement the deal that favours the EU, but not the one favourable to Turkey,’ it is not fair.”
Also, speaking to reporters, Waszczykowski said that the relations between Turkey and the EU should continue, and added, “We are aware these relations need to be tighter and closer.”
In his part, Comanescu said that his country will continue to support Turkey’s EU membership bid and argued that Turkey’s EU membership would benefit not only Turkey but also the EU. “Turkey is a key part of Europe”, he said.
Commenting on Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria, Cavusoglu slammed Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), saying the party is “disturbed” by the Turkish army’s operation launched on Wednesday in Jarablus, northern Syria against ISIL.
“They [HDP] proved once again that they are under the guidance of terror organizations,” Cavusoglu said. “We once again saw that they are not interested in Kurdish people’s rights either here or there [Syria],” Cavusoglu also added.
Anatolia-Ankara News Agency