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Türkiye’s path to EU ‘in deep freeze’ – Berlin — RT World News

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Ankara is missing “essential” criteria for joining the bloc, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said

Türkiye is unlikely to join the European Union anytime soon, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told journalists this week. The nation’s accession process remains “frozen” due to what the minister called human rights issues.

Ankara’s ambition of EU membership is “deep in the freezer,” Baerbock said on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Thursday. “That is because important [criteria] that are essential for these talks… have not been met [by Türkiye].”

The rule of law and human rights are among the issues preventing Ankara from progressing towards EU accession, she explained, describing the moment when Türkiye would be ready to advance as a “distant prospect.”

Baerbock said Türkiye was “not an easy neighbor” of the EU, but acknowledged that it was a “global strategically important actor” in Europe’s “direct vicinity,” which requires a special approach in relations. The period following Erdogan’s re-election as president in May was a good moment for “strategic reflection” on the issue, the minister said.

Türkiye won’t join EU in 2024 – official

Berlin is advocating rapprochement with Ankara, Baerbock said, adding that new relations between the EU and Türkiye should be based on a “strategic and forward-looking approach.” At the same time, she said Europe was “not naive” and there would be no gifts freely given in these “geopolitically challenging times.”

Earlier this month, Erdogan raised the issue of Türkiye’s EU membership bid as he agreed to give the green light to Sweden’s NATO application after opposing it for more than a year. Ankara had used its veto, demanding that Stockholm do more to crack down on what it called pro-Kurdish “terrorist organizations” that have taken refuge in Sweden.

Kremlin tells Türkiye to wise up about EU

The Turkish president argued that his nation had been waiting for around half a century at the EU’s door, adding that most NATO members are also members of the EU. He called on Brussels to open the way for Türkiye, adding that Ankara would then “pave the way for Sweden” to join the US-led military bloc.

European Commission spokesperson Peter Stano then told Russia’s Izvestiya media outlet that Türkiye’s accession to the EU would likely take “years” and there is no way it could join the bloc next year. He also pointed to the fact that Ankara would first have to meet “all the necessary criteria, which include human rights and political freedoms.”

Russia warned Türkiye not to have expectations of a speedy accession. “Nobody wants to see Türkiye in Europe. I am referring to Europeans,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this month.

Türkiye applied for EU membership in 1987 and was recognized as a candidate state 12 years later. The accession talks that got underway in 2005 have been effectively frozen since 2016.

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