Erdoğan calls on EU to show sensitivity about Turkey's membership

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the EU to show the “same sensitivity” for Turkey’s application to join the bloc as it showed for Ukraine’s membership bid.


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 1 that Turkey appreciates the European Union's efforts to include Ukraine in the bloc.

In a joint press conference alongside his Kosovar counterpart Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu at the presidential complex in Ankara Erdoğan hailed the possibility of EU accession for Ukraine, saying: "We appreciate the efforts to get Ukraine EU membership. But I ask the EU members, why does Turkey's membership in the EU worry you?"

Calling on the bloc to show Turkey the same "sensitivity" they did for Ukraine on accession, he asked: "Will you put Turkey on the agenda when somebody attacks?"

On Feb. 28, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for Ukraine's "immediate accession" to the EU.

"We call on the European Union for the immediate accession of Ukraine under a new special procedure," Zelenskyy said in an address to the nation.

Turkiye applied for EU membership in 1987, and accession talks began in 2005. But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to objections from the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus, as well as opposition from Germany and France.

On March 1, European Parliament adopted a resolution demanding EU candidacy for Ukraine a day after eight countries in the bloc -- Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia -- expressed their support for Zelenskyy's call.

Erdoğan reiterated his call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine as the war continues on its sixth day.

"Our call on both Russia and Ukraine is for them to cease their fire as soon as possible," said Erdoğan.

Erdoğan called on both Moscow and Kyiv to "make a good contribution to world peace."

Since Russia's war on Ukraine began last week, it has been met by outrage from the international community, with the EU, UK, and US implementing a range of economic sanctions on Russia.

So far, at least 136 civilians, including 13 children, have been killed and 400 others, including 26 children, injured in Ukraine, according to UN figures.

Around 660,000 people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.

On possible NATO membership for Kosovo, Erdoğan said Ankara would take steps to get the Balkan nation recognized Kosovo as a NATO member.

"We've always advocated and still advocate that it would be advantageous to enlarge NATO," adding that Turkey wanted this "for world peace."