According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.10.15-online in Engish) Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu in statements on October 19, has strictly ruled out arguments linking the country’s long-stalled EU membership bid with the recent contacts between Ankara and Brussels for deeper cooperation in stemming the flow of migrants to Europe, as he voiced confidence the Turkish capital would definitely revive negotiations to become a member of the European bloc.
“One thing is certain, Turkey’s negotiations for full EU membership will be revived,” as the country has been scene to a flurry of diplomatic contacts concerning a wide range of issues from its EU bid to the UN-led reunification talks in Cyprus and from the handling of the European migrant crisis to the US-led efforts signaling a process in quest of “a political resolution” to the Syrian conflict.
When asked how the EU could open more accession negotiations given the Greek Cypriot side’s veto, Sinirlioglu said: “The negotiation process in Cyprus is underway. Either a peace agreement will be signed in March and the issue will be resolved via the holding of a referendum or the current situation will be recognized as a solution by the international community if the Greek Cypriot side rejects [the agreement]. This means that no obstacle will remain in front of Turkey’s negotiation process”.
Meanwhile, Merkel pledged to Turkish leaders that she would “do her best, including putting pressure on the Greek Cypriot side,” for the rapid opening of new accession negotiations with Turkey.
“Turkey needs to show the EU that it is not a country which could “tactically” benefit from short-term goals”, Sinirlioglu stated. “Turkey’s EU membership and the Syrian refugee issue are two separate issues. However, they [EU member states] need to see that Turkey is important for Europe in regards to the refugee issue. They cannot ignore that the instability in Syria has an impact on them. The EU is not fulfilling what it is actually required to do as a favour to Turkey. The turmoil in the region will take long, maybe a decade, maybe two decades,” Sinirlioglu added.
“Within this framework, Syrian refugees are not a domestic problem of Turkey, but are an international problem. Europeans need to do their best like we have been doing and they should share this burden in the field,” Sinirlioglu.