Turkey’s deputy foreign minister on Sunday said both Turkey and the EU should build up their future together.
“Our past, history, geography, trade, sport, art and culture are common. We should also a build up our future together,” Faruk Kaymakci, who is also the country’s director for EU affairs, said in a video message on Europe Day.
Kaymakci said May 9 is the symbol of peace, stability, building together and integration in Europe.
“Since 1999, after Turkey was officially declared as a candidate for the EU, we started to celebrate Europe Day in our country as well,” he said. “We believe that our future is common … the EU can be stronger and a global player with a strong Turkey.”
Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987, with accession talks beginning in 2005. However, negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration, as well as opposition from Germany and France.
To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations on 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.
As of May 2016, 16 chapters had been opened and one concluded. But in December 2016, member countries announced that new chapters would not be opened.
Since then, Ankara has held many negotiations with bloc officials, insisting that Turkey wants to open Chapter 23 on the judiciary and fundamental rights and Chapter 24 on justice, freedom, and security.