Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considered that the European Union needs his country, stressing that it is still looking forward to membership of the Union despite the obstacles.
In a message published on Sunday by Erdogan on the occasion of “Europe Day” that falls on May 9 each year, he said that the biggest obstacle to the European Union’s transformation into a strong global player is its “lack of patience and strategic vision.”
Erdogan pointed out that the European Union needs a new institutional structure, a review of decision-making mechanisms, and a new vision and discourse.
The Turkish president referred to the challenges facing the European Union, such as the refugee crisis, hostility to Islam and foreigners, financial fragility, the repercussions of Britain’s exit from it, and the Corona pandemic.
Erdogan considered that solving the problems facing the Union depends on solidarity and cooperation, and again adopting a comprehensive and courageous perspective.
He added, “It is very clear that the European Union will not be able to continue its existence in a strong way without the contribution and support of our country.”
Erdogan also stressed that Turkey – which is part of Europe historically and geographically – is ready to do what is required of it in terms of contributing to solving the problems facing the Union and increasing its effectiveness.
The Turkish President accused the European Union of not fulfilling its promises to Turkey and putting obstacles in the way of its accession to it, and said that some member states are transferring their differences with Turkey to the corridors of the union, which harms Turkish-European relations and weakens the ability of the Union to confront global threats.
On April 6, Erdogan met with the President of the European Union Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who visited Ankara at his official invitation, in an attempt to de-escalate the tension between the two sides.
That visit came after European Union leaders said they were ready to discuss modernizing the customs union and extending the immigration treaty with Ankara, warning at the same time of the possibility of imposing sanctions on Turkey if it resumed exploration for energy sources in the eastern Mediterranean.