Turkey may consider 'parting ways' with EU if needed, Erdoğan says

Turkish President Erdoğan has mentioned that Ankara might consider "parting ways" with the European Union in responding to inquiries regarding the European Parliament report signaling the termination of Turkey's accession to the EU process due to democratic backsliding.

Reuter - Duvar English

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 16 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 earlier this 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.

Turkey has been an official candidate to join the EU for 24 years, but accession talks have stalled in recent years over the bloc's concerns about human rights violations and respect for the rule of law.

The parliament noted the ever-increasing democratic backsliding in the country and emphasized that it is concerned about women's rights, gender-based violence, the increase in femicide, widespread hate speech and discrimination against the LGBTI+ community.

"The EU is trying to break away from Turkey," Erdoğan told reporters ahead of a trip to the United States. "We will make our evaluations against these developments and if necessary, we can part ways with the EU."

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said earlier this week that the European Parliament report contained unfounded allegations and prejudices and took "a shallow and non-visionary" approach to the country's ties with the EU.

The report includes assessments on a range of issues, including Turkey's growing economic relations with Russia in the context of the invasion of Ukraine, the country's rigid stance on the Sweden's NATO membership application process, relations with Armenia and Greece, and the Cyprus problem.