Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU Affairs Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı’s article entitled “Turkey and the EU” was published in The Economist Weekly Newsletter on 11 September 2021.
“Turkey and the EU
Turkey’s accession to the European Union is not a fiction (Charlemagne, August 28th). Instead, it is a difficult and at the same time strategic and invaluable vision that neither side can give up, despite the ups and downs. Reforms under the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is now the president, led the eu to open accession negotiations in 2005. Thus the argument that “the eu will not accept Turkey whatever its democratic credentials” is not only baseless but also unacceptable for both sides.
It is also disappointing to see the cliché that Turkey is too big and Muslim to join the eu. Turkey’s accession will be the most useful of all since no other candidate can contribute to the eu more than a secular and vibrant Turkey in various areas, from the economy to security. Contrary to what your column claims, the 18th March Agreement in 2016 between Turkey and the eu is not limited to migration co-operation, but also includes re-energising the accession process, (which is not “dead”), updating a customs union, regular high-level dialogues, visa liberalisation and counter-terrorism.
Considering the current challenges, renewing the 2016 agreement in its entirety will be in the best interest of not only Turkey and the eu but also the wider region. The emergence of a geostrategic eu, especially after Brexit, does not have the luxury of refusing a more-democratic Turkey, which would fulfil all its objective membership criteria. This would be a win-win-win situation.”