Although the need for a positive agenda has been highlighted on the conclusion section of the report in the Joint Communication on the “State of Play of political, economic and trade relations between Turkey and the EU” prepared by the Vice President and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy Borrell and the Commission on which the EU Council Conclusions are based, it is seen that the report has been written with a one-sided viewpoint under the influence of narrow-minded allegations of a few member states. We nevertheless welcome the efforts shown in this report towards enhancing Turkey-EU relations with a positive agenda and the endeavor to reflect its discourse in the Council Conclusions.
As a negotiating candidate state, we also wish sincerely to develop our relations with the EU on a cooperative and mutually beneficial basis towards membership. Hence, it is thanks to the efforts of Turkey and many foresighted EU member states that the de-escalation and re-vitalization of the dialogue channels have been made possible. In this context, concrete and constructive steps based on a positive agenda is Turkey’s rightful expectation from the EU. We hope that the conditionality established by the Council Conclusions, the reference made only to some certain areas of cooperation and postponing to June to take steps will not hinder the positive momentum achieved so far.
Despite the fact that we are ready to work with the EU and that we have conveyed concrete proposals to this end to continue to implement a renewed 18 March Turkey-EU Statement with all its elements including cooperation on migration management, the EU acted selectively, neglecting the comprehensive content of the Statement, and resorted to an ambiguous language. These are considered as poor steps from the EU, which we all together want to transform it into a global actor.
We believe that we need to work on the relevant chapters rather than having just a dialogue on the rule of law and fundamental rights. In this context, we expect the EU to open Chapters 23 and 24 which will also be in line with the new enlargement strategy.
Turkey will continue its efforts for the solution of regional crisis such as Libya, Syria and South Caucasus. Turkey-EU cooperation in these areas will contribute to regional peace and stability as well as further our common interests. In this regard, we are in favour of launching at once structural high level dialogue mechanisms that serve our common interests not only on regional or health issues but in all fields, including economy, energy, transportation, counter-terrorism, migration management and visa liberalisation.
It is in contravention of international law to "adjudicate" that the drilling activities of Turkey and the TRNC are described as "illegal" by the EU which, in the name of solidarity, overlooks or fails to restrain the maximalist stance and unilateral provocative actions of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo. The EU has neither authority nor jurisdiction on this matter. Statements regarding Cyprus on the other hand, intended to defend Greek Cypriots’ interests, are detached from reality and do not contribute to a possible reconciliation. Non-referrence yet again to the Turkish Cypriots and their legitimate rights and interests again in the conclusion, attests to the continuation of EU's partial and prejudiced stance regarding Cyprus.
The positive steps the EU will take for our common interests, will be reciprocated by candidate country Turkey with positive steps too.