Turkey-EU: Why Do Accession Negotiations Continue?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed to end to EU membership talks with Turkey. Earlier Berlin stated that the future of Turkey in the EU is conditioned by the personality of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In particular, German Foreign Minister Zigmar Gabriel said that Turkey will never become a member of the European Union while Erdogan is in power in this country. Even French President French President Emanuel Macron stated that one of the worst moments of the president’s work is the need for regular telephone conversations with the Turkish president, the proposal of Paris to end negotiations with Turkey on joining the EU is also conditioned by the identity of the Turkish president. So it can be asumed that Paris proposal to stop negotiations with Turkey on EU membership is also conditioned by the personality of the Turkish President.

It should be noted that relations between Turkey and a number of European states began to deteriorate dramatically because of Ankara’s actions after the military coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016. Despite the fact that after the coup attempt European countries expressed their support to the Turkish authorities and did not intervene at Erdogan’s retaliation against the coup organizers, soon it became clear that Erdogan used this fact to take revenge against his political opponents in general. Moreover, Erdogan is also trying to take revenge against the citizens of Turkey who live in European countries and whose views he does not like. The logical continuation of Erdogan’s actions to gather all power in his hands became the constitutional referendum by which Erdogan legitimized his sole power, which was strengthened by the coup attempt.

Thus, for representatives of European countries, it became clear that Erdogan has become more determined in his ambitions and is not going to back away from authoritarianism, which is completely contrary to the principles and values of the European Union.

In this case, it is natural that some European countries demand to stop EU-Turkey membership talks: Turkey for a long time carried out reforms in the country to comply with EU standards, but even then some number of European countries, including Germany and France, were stating that Turkey cannot become a member of the EU. Now, when Erdogan decided to go in the opposite direction, naturally, European countries demand to stop negotiations, as it is just a waste of time.

It should be noted that the Turkish president has repeatedly stated that membership to the EU is no longer a priority for his country and that he is going to hold a referendum on this issue. Despite all this, Brussels and Ankara do not officially refuse negotiations, which seem to be of no use to anyone.

Perhaps, these negotiations help the parties try to maintain relations: due to the deterioration of relations with leading European countries, the suspension of negotiations between the EU and Turkey can lead to a cooling of relations between Turkey and Europe, which can have serious consequences for both sides, given the high level of cooperation between them in different spheres, as well as the membership in NATO.