Politcs

Time to get tough on Turkey

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Turkey has now been a candidate for membership in the European Union longer than any other country in the history of the European integration process. It submitted its application to the European Economic Community, the EU’s predecessor, in 1987. Twelve years later, in 1999, it was formally recognized as a candidate, and six years after that, it was finally allowed to begin accession negotiations with the EU.

TURKEY HAS WAITED ALMOST 30 YEARS TO BE WELCOMED INTO EUROPE

In all, then, Turkey has waited almost 30 years to be welcomed into Europe. Yet in 2016, when Ankara finally seemed on the verge of getting what it wants the most, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government, apparently frustrated with the pace of the negotiations, began openly blackmailing EU leaders, European nations, and European citizens. Under the terms of an agreement reached in March to stem the flow of Syrian refugees to Europe, Turkey has been promised EU-visa liberalization for 75 million of its citizens if it fulfills certain conditions set out by the EU. But it still has five conditions left to satisfy relating to data protection and anti-terror laws, and Erdoğan is putting huge pressure on the European community to let those five conditions slide.

THIS IS CAUSING FEAR AMONG EUROPEAN LEADERS

This is causing serious fear among European leaders that the refugee deal, which has been effective in slowing the growth of the European migrant crisis, might fall apart. All signals from Ankara suggest that this fear is well justified. In August, Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu warned that Turkey could walk away from its promise to stem the flow of illegal migrants to Europe if the EU failed to grant Turks visa-free travel to the bloc by October.

Source: national review

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