ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Ankara could “separate” from the European Union if necessary, when asked about the content of a European Parliament report on Turkey.
The report, approved this week, states that Turkey’s accession process to the 27-nation bloc cannot be resumed under current circumstances and calls on the EU to explore “a parallel and realistic framework” for its ties with Ankara.
Turkey has been an official candidate to join the EU for 24 years, but accession talks have stalled in recent years due to the bloc’s concerns about human rights violations and respect for the rule of law.
“The EU is trying to separate from Turkey,” Erdogan told reporters before a trip to the United States. “We will make our assessments in the face of these developments and, if necessary, we can separate from the EU.”
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said this week that the European Parliament’s report contained unfounded accusations and prejudices and took a “superficial and short-sighted” approach to the country’s ties with the EU. (Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)