Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Erdogan calls for EU dialogue, says Turkey’s future in Europe

Erdogan calls for EU dialogue, says Turkey’s future in Europe

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Turkish President and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during his party’s group meeting at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara on November 11. AFP

Erdogan calls for EU dialogue, says Turkey’s future in Europe

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached out to the EU on November 21, while warning the bloc not to be manipulated amid escalating tensions over the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish deployment of a ship to search for gas in waters claimed by Greece has triggered a fierce war of words with EU member states, which early this month extended sanctions against Ankara for another year.

The measures include visa bans and asset freezes against individuals involved in contested gas exploration in the Mediterranean.

“We expect the EU to keep its promises, not to discriminate against us or at least not to become a tool to open enmities targeting our country,” Erdogan said in a video address to his ruling party congress.

At one point Turkey had pursued a track towards EU membership, but it encountered opposition from several EU members and has pulled back under Erdogan’s leadership.

But on November 21 he said: “We don’t see ourselves elsewhere but in Europe. We envisage building our future together with Europe.”

Turkey has no problem with any country or institution “that cannot be resolved through politics, diplomacy or dialogue,” he added.

Erdogan’s message comes as EU leaders are to decide at a December summit whether to impose further sanctions in response to recent Turkish activity.

Its exploration ship Oruc Reis remains at the centre of tensions with Brussels and on November 21, Ankara extended its mission until November 29, despite protests from Athens.

A Greek foreign ministry statement denounced the move as “illegal conduct, which further undermines any prospect for a constructive dialogue.

“These actions, which essentially cancel any prospect for improving EU-Turkey relations, are taking place, while Turkish officials state that their country’s accession to the EU is a ‘strategic priority’,” the ministry said.

In the same speech, Erdogan said Turkey wanted to “actively use its long and close alliance with the United States for a solution to regional and global problems”.

He was not among the first world leaders to congratulate US President-elect Joe Biden however.

And while he has close ties with President Donald Trump, there have also been tensions between the two countries over several issues.

Turkey’s purchase of a high-tech Russian missile defence system angered Washington, while Ankara has protested the US refusal to extradite a Muslim cleric who Erdogan blames for staging a failed 2016 coup.


  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said

  • More than 5K workers rush from Thailand amid outbreak

    Following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, Cambodian migrants working in Thailand were gripped by worry over the situation and many rushed to return to their homeland. Over the past 10 days, more than 5,000 migrant workers have returned from Thailand through