Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the European Union (EU) has drawn up a 12-month calendar to push Turkey’s EU membership process ahead, Hürriyet reported on Saturday.
“They [the EU] have done some work. We received a 12-month calendar from them. We will study this calendar with the Foreign Ministry and the EU Ministry, and take some steps,” Erdoğan told a group of journalists on Thursday while returning to Turkey from a NATO summit in Brussels, where he also met with EU officials.
Erdoğan underlined that not only the issue of visa-free travel of Turks to Europe was on the table, but he also raised the issue of the Red Crescent and Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) supports.
Erdoğan met with Council of Europe President Donald Tusk, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani in Brussels on Thursday.
“We had a positive meeting with them [EU officials] about giving a new and positive momentum to [Turkey’s] EU membership process. We discussed the implementation of the Turkey-EU migration deal and the visa issue. We wanted support for Turkey in the struggle against terrorism,” said Erdoğan.
“What happened during the [Turkish] referendum process has to be left behind,” Erdoğan added.
The Turkish president said a desire to start a new process was also expressed by Tusk and Juncker.
“We discussed the need to cooperate. I put the question of human rights in the centre of our discussions with @RT_Erdogan,” Tusk tweeted following the meeting.
Relations between Ankara and Brussels reached crisis levels during the campaign for an April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments in Turkey.
Attacking European Union countries during his nonstop “yes” campaign ahead of the referendum, Erdoğan said Europe is the center of Nazism today and will pay a heavy price for it.
Describing the EU as “the alliance of crusaders,” Erdoğan called on people to respond to the EU in the referendum on April 16. (turkishminute.com) May 27, 2017