Tensions between the European Union and Turkey have subsided after the phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and European Council President Charles Michel last night (Tuesday) to call for a “new page” in relations between Ankara and the European Union.
Two days before the phone call, Charles Michel told Radio France Inter that since October, we have been witnessing Erdogan’s hostile speech and the continuation of his unilateral actions.
The game of cat and mouse must be over, the decision to impose sanctions has been made.
The crisis in relations between Turkey and the European Union, which began a few years ago, has become very serious in recent months, and the two sides are witnessing the most critical period in the history of relations.
French newspaper Le Monde reported that this is the first contact between Erdogan and European Union officials since the decision to impose European Union sanctions on Ankara.
In a statement issued by the Turkish president at the conclusion of the talks, Ankara said that some people were constantly trying to create a crisis.
He expressed his regret and called for the Turkish-European relations to be “saved” from this “enemy circle.”
The French media continued: “European Union leaders decided, in a meeting held in Brussels last Thursday, to impose sanctions on Turkey because of Ankara’s” illegal and aggressive “actions in the Mediterranean against Greece and Cyprus.
Turkey’s exploration of gas fields in the disputed offshore areas has been at the forefront of these tensions for months.
And Agence France-Presse added that Erdogan also expressed his desire to “resume” talks with the European Union “in all respects” and “on the basis of common interests.”
According to him, the immigration agreement signed in 2015 could be a starting point for creating a “positive” atmosphere.
The crisis in Turkey’s relations with European Union member states, including France, is so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that the European Union will not take any destabilizing measures. We gave Turkey a chance last October, but it kept moving.
“This was a test for us, and we passed this test because three important agreements were approved yesterday and today,” Macron said after the European Union’s decision to impose sanctions on Ankara at the EU summit in Brussels.
The Brussels Meeting
In a meeting held in Brussels on Thursday evening, the leaders of the European Union agreed on economic sanctions against Turkey; According to the conclusion of the summit of the 27 member states of the European Union, a list of people who will be subject to sanctions in the coming weeks will be prepared and submitted to the members of the Union for approval.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement after the meeting, that the position of the European Union in its recent summit is biased and illegal: “This biased and illegal position that was taken at the end of the EU summit on December 10 is unacceptable to us.”
The history Turkish relations with the European Union
Over the decades, Turkey developed its relations with European countries and expanded its membership in various European institutions.
Relations also developed so that in addition to its membership in European institutions, Turkey participated in European competitions.
Turkey’s complaints about non-compliance with European Union membership have continued for years.
During the term of Prime Minister Tansu Çiller in 1995, Turkey was accepted into the European Customs Union and Turkey officially became a member of the European Union on January 1, 1996.
In May 2004, 10 countries, including the Greek Cypriot part, joined the European Union, and this can be considered a turning point in Turkey’s relations with the European Union.
In 2008, Turkey submitted a formal application to join the European Union.
“We hope that the European Union will be able to take a constructive and wise approach to Turkey,” the French newspaper Le Monde quoted the Turkish president as saying.
The United States also imposed sanctions on Turkey on Monday over its acquisition of the Russian air defense system (purchase of the S400 air defense system).
Yesterday, Tuesday, the Turkish Defense Minister stressed that the US sanctions on Ankara had undermined the alliance between the two countries, and that Turkey would continue its efforts to preserve the security of the country and its people.
In response to the unilateral US sanctions against Turkey, the Foreign Minister said: “We strongly condemn the recent US sanctions against Turkey and stand with the people and government of this country.”
Although Erdogan has spoken in recent days about the Ankara government’s determination to develop relations with the European Union, informed observers say that the lack of trust between the two sides will be a very serious problem in developing relations even if the issues between them are resolved.
In conclusion, according to informed observers, Turkey is not the country that was 10 or 20 years ago that accepted the demands of the European Union unconditionally.
In recent years, Turkey has been able to bear many demands by gaining strength and the relative stability of its economy, in addition to various factors, including the issue of foreign asylum seekers in the country, the investments of Turkish citizens in the member states of the European Union, and more than 3.5 million Turkish citizens. Living in European Union countries allow Ankara to stand up to EU demands and use its influence against them if necessary.