Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a major problem. He cannot understand how the European Union supports indebted countries like Greece, while it has a strong and flourishing country like Turkey waiting at the entrance door for 54 years.
Speaking on Thursday at a council of TUSIAD, Turkey’s largest business association, Erdogan stressed first of all that Turkey was “at the center of the new balance of power in a changing world”. Then he criticized the European Union for giving all the support to Greece despite the fact the country has a “€400 billion debt” as he said.
Regarding Turkey’s EU accession process, Erdogan said the countries that applied after Turkey and were accepted into the European Union were not better, recalling 54 years had passed since Ankara’s application.
“Here come Bulgaria, Greece. Today, Greece has €400 billion in debt,” Erdogan said, adding that the European countries were still trying to keep Greece alive.
Turkey would concentrate on customs unions “from now on”.
“If the European market is important for Turkey, Turkey is also important for Europe, maybe more,” the Turkish president said and stressed “keeping this in mind, we will continue our negotiations within the customs union.”
The EU-Turkey customs union came into force in 1995.
The Turkish President said that Turkey would not insist on membership despite “all kinds of attacks” towards Turkish officials in different countries.
“We have made all kinds of negotiations. If the officials of the European Union continue their fair and positive approach towards us after these negotiations, we will continue this way,” Erdogan said. “If not,” Turkey will search for different solutions, he warned.
“I will never let anybody tarnish this country’s honor,” he added, according to Turkish Anadolu News Agency.
PS What the grave difference is between Turkey and the European Union are several decades of a movement called Enlightenment. “Neo-Ottoman Erdogan will never manage to comprehend this,” a mean Greek would say.