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EU Signals Green Light for Stronger Ties with Turkey, Lists Conditions

The European Union (EU) has given the green light to develop its relations with Turkey but listed some conditions: the Cyprus issue must be resolved, and human rights violations must cease.

Josep Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, stated, “We believe there is a mutual interest in developing a stronger relationship between Turkey and the European Union.”

Borrell said, “We have discussed how to re-establish relations with Turkey” during a press conference after the foreign ministers’ meeting held in Brussels. He emphasized that the improvement of relations between the two sides depends on Ankara’s actions concerning the Cyprus issue and human rights.

Borrell stated, “Resolving the Cyprus issue in line with relevant United Nations resolutions will play a key role in this renewed engagement with Turkey.” He also highlighted the importance of preserving the fundamental freedoms and values defined in the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Ankara is also a party.

Ankara has been an official candidate for EU membership for 24 years, but the accession negotiations between Ankara and Brussels were suspended in 2016 due to concerns about human rights violations and respect for the rule of law.

On July 10th, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan made an unexpected move, calling for the resumption of Turkey’s accession negotiations, and linked this idea to Turkey’s approval of Sweden’s offer to join the NATO military alliance.

Earlier this month, a senior Turkish official told Reuters that Ankara expects concrete progress on issues such as visa-free travel from the EU and the closing of some chapters in the EU accession process. The official also added that the West should support Turkey in its financial needs.

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