“EU enlargement decisions based on a narrow view of certain members”

The recent decisions adopted by the EU at the General Affairs Council of the bloc have once again shown that the EU does not approach enlargement with a strategic approach but rather an approach based on the solidarity of membership and the narrow views of some members, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

In a written statement, the ministry said the rulings ignored Turkey’s continued membership negotiations and the country’s importance to regional peace, stability and well-being.

“These decisions, which are yet another example of how the EU is exploited by the narrow views and selfish interests of certain member states, neither contribute to Turkey-EU relations nor to the general interests of Europe, nor do they bring us closer to the goal. to create a more positive and constructive program, ”he said.

“We are surprised that the EU, while making these decisions, acts as an interest group based on negotiation, and not as a set of principles and values. “

Turkey-EU relations are marked by disputes over several issues, including tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey’s role in Syria, the migrant crisis and the deadlock in Turkey’s accession process to the bloc.

“The Council notes with regret that Turkey continues to move away from the European Union,” the General Affairs Council said in conclusions released on Tuesday.

“Turkey’s accession negotiations are therefore effectively at a standstill and no other chapter can be considered for opening or closing,” the document added, reiterating a previous Council conclusion.

The council also reiterated “its serious concerns about the further and deeply worrying setback in the areas of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, as well as the systemic lack of independence. of Justice”.

Specifically, EU states have criticized Turkey’s foreign policy, which they say is increasingly in conflict with EU priorities.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry, on the other hand, said the decisions on the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cypriot issue “are once again far from reality, one-sided, inconsistent and reflect the maximalist position of the Greek-Cypriot duo. “.

Stressing that these decisions ignore the presence of Turkish Cypriots, she added that the EU has turned a blind eye to provocations exacerbating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration as well as their unilateral actions.

“As long as this position of the EU continues, it is not possible that it will contribute constructively to the Cyprus issue”, stressed the ministry, calling on the bloc to see the realities on the island and to stop ‘ignore the rights of Turkish Cypriots.

Greece has often been embroiled in tensions with neighboring Turkey over a range of issues, from competing claims over Aegean oil resources to the demilitarization of the islands.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, has rejected claims to maritime borders made by members of the European Union, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate sovereign rights Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The two sides cite a series of decades-old international treaties and agreements to support their conflicting territorial claims.

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed Ankara’s support for resolving outstanding issues in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations.

“Turkey is determined to strengthen its relations with the European Union through a concrete and positive agenda based on a prospect of membership,” added the ministry.

Turkey has the longest history with union and the longest process of negotiation. The country signed an association agreement with the EU’s predecessor in 1964, the European Economic Community (EEC), which is generally seen as a first step to eventually becoming a candidate. Presenting its official candidacy in 1987, Turkey had to wait until 1999 to obtain the status of candidate country. For the start of negotiations, however, Turkey had to wait another six years, until 2005, a particularly long process compared to other candidates.

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