Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik evaluated the agenda and responded to questions in a live interview on TRT Haber.
Minister for EU Affairs Ömer Çelik noted that the opposition to migrants and İslam in Europe had taken a hold of domestic politics in Germany. Minister Ömer Çelik pointed out that Turkey was placed at the centre of this opposition and an effort was being made to escalate tensions with Turkey.
Minister for EU Affairs Ömer Çelik noted that he observed a movement from a discourse of “Turkey should not be an EU Member” to one of “Turkey-EU relations should end” and said: “The issue of the Customs Union is not a unilateral demand by Turkey. Using the updating of the Customs Union as political leverage is also against the interests of the EU.”
Minister for EU Affairs Ömer Çelik stated that Turkey-EU relations were structural, and said: “We are not a country that speaks to Europe from the outside. We have always been a part of Europe. We are a strong European state.”
Minister for EU Affairs Ömer Çelik pointed out the importance of opening Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security) to accession negotiations between Turkey and the EU, and also said:
“It is being said that “the environment is not conducive to opening these chapters.” Now this is unreasonable. Opening chapters is an EU mechanism for resolving problems. We are not talking about closing chapters. We mean that we will discuss the chapters once these are opened. One must find a way to talk about a matter should there be any grievances regarding it.”
Minister for EU Affairs Ömer Çelik noted that Europe had always considered Turkey as a part of its security considerations until today and would continue to do so. Minister Ömer Çelik also stated that the accession negotiations were an essential part of Turkey-EU relations and that EU membership was a strategic goal for Turkey.
Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik pointed out the need for a summit of leaders to evaluate the state of affairs in Turkey-EU relations and said: “This is being worked on right now. They have also accepted it. We want the summit to be held by the end of this year. It is most likely to be held in Europe, which is fine. Content and outcome is what is important.”