Turkey will open its borders with the European Union for migrants, if the EU pushes ahead with its current policy with regard to Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
“You did not keep your word. When 50,000 refugees were at the Kapikule [Turkey-Bulgaria] border, you cried out. “You started to say: ‘What will we do if Turkey opens border gates? If you go too far, the border gates will be opened,” the Anadolu news agency quotes him as saying.
On November 24, the majority of members of the European Parliament voted to suspend talks between Ankara and Brussels on Turkey’s EU membership. The resolution called on the European Commission and the EU member-countries to suspend further talks with Ankara citing disproportionate response by the Turkish authorities after a coup attempt in that country.
The resolution endorsed by the European Parliament is advisory. However, the mere fact that such a vote was held shows that there are serious problems in relations between the two sides.
The European Union should not freeze Turkey’s negotiations to join the bloc, Germany’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday, a day after members of the European Parliament voted in a non-binding motion in support of such a freeze.
“It is important that we keep talking,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli told a regular government news conference.
“It is important that we do not freeze the accession negotiations because that would only further damage the relationship between Turkey and Europe, and that would not be in the interest of Turkey or of Europe,” she added.
Croatian Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier also said that the European Union should not suspend its talks with Turkey.
“It is not in the interest of the European Union, Croatia or Slovenia to suspend talks with Turkey … we need a balance standpoint towards Ankara,” Stier told a news conference, without elaborating.