Turkey reacts to poor EU marks in accession progress report

Turkey reacts to poor EU marks in accession progress report

Turkey has reacted to criticism from the Council of the European Union which Tuesday warned that the EU candidate country is drifting further away from the bloc, while noting that accession negotiations have effectively come to a standstill and no further chapters can be considered for opening or closing.

In a statement translated from Turkish Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said that the Council conclusions “once again exposed its narrow-minded and biased stance towards Turkey.”

“Such decisions, in which the common interests of the EU are sacrificed for the interests of certain member states, neither contribute to Turkey-EU relations, nor do they forge a constructive agenda. With this approach, the EU has regrettably once more proved that it cannot properly read change in the international system,” it said.

The Foreign Ministry also rejected EU criticism regarding the state of democracy and human rights in Turkey, while accusing the bloc of being manipulated by Athens and Nicosia regarding the Cyprus problem and disputes in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Council Tuesday expressed “serious concerns about [Turkey’s] further and deeply worrying backsliding in the areas of democracy, rule of law, and fundamental rights.”

It said it “continues to expect [Turkey] to unequivocally commit to good neighborly relations, international agreements and to the peaceful settlement of disputes, having recourse, if necessary, to the International Court of Justice.”

“[Turkey] must stop all threats and actions that damage good neighborly relations, normalize its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and respect the sovereignty of all EU member states over their territorial sea and airspace as well as all their sovereign rights, including inter alia the right to explore and exploit natural resources, in accordance with EU and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” it said.

The Council furthermore condemned Turkey’s continued unilateral actions in Cyprus’ occupied ghost town of Varosha, warning that they run contrary to the UN Security Council Resolutions.

It finally expressed its regret over Ankara’s failure to comply with EU sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine.

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