Erdoğan says there is new opportunity for revitalization of Turkey-EU relations

Turkish President Erdoğan has stated that “a window of opportunity” has opened up for the revitalization of Turkey-EU relations in “this critical period.”

Duvar English

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 18 stated that there is a new opportunity opened up for the revitalization of Turkey and the European Union (EU) ties.

Speaking at the Turkish House in New York with think tank representatives, Erdoğan said “In this critical period, we see that a window of opportunity has opened up for the revitalization of Turkey-EU relations. We continue to emphasize the importance of revitalizing Turkey's accession process to the European Union.” 

“Undoubtedly, our will alone is not enough. The attitude of the EU will also be decisive in ensuring that these efforts reach their goals,” Erdoğan added.

Erdoğan’s remarks came two days after he said that Ankara could “part ways” with the European Union if necessary when asked about the contents of a European Parliament report on Turkey. The report, adopted last week, said Turkey's accession process with the 27-member bloc cannot resume under current circumstances and called for the EU to explore "a parallel and realistic framework" for its ties with Ankara.

Erdoğan also said they are “pleased with the development of our cooperation with the USA. We overcame a significant part of the blockages in our meetings with Mr. (Joe) Biden.”

Later in the day, Erdoğan spoke at the 2023 Concordia Summit.

Commenting on the refugees living in Turkey, Erdoğan said “The main opposition party (Republican People’s Party CHP) in our country threatened that if they won the election, they would send the refugees (back to their countries). We are the exact opposite. We will continue to host refugees as is.”

“We currently have nearly 5 million refugees. We are hosting these nearly 5 million refugees with all our efforts, and we will continue to do so,” Erdoğan said according to reporting from Anadolu Agency.

He also said that Turkey has built houses in the north of Syria, and that nearly 600,000 Syrians have started to return there “voluntarily.”

Erdoğan is in the U.S. to attend the 78th session of the U.N. General Assembly.