09:46 GMT 13.09.2017 (updated 11:20 GMT 13.09.2017) Get a short URL
A week after Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused EU heads of state and government of failing to keep their promises to Turkey regarding abolishing the bloc visa regime for EU nationals, the head of the European Commission has rejected the move Ankara fought.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey has taken steps to remove Ankara from the European Union, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday.
"For some time now, Turkey has been leaping away from the European Union … Europe is a continent of mature democracies, those who are knowingly offended pull the drawbridge up, and sometimes I have the impression that there are Turkey who pull up the drawbridge and later blame the European Union for the failure of the accession negotiations, "said Juncker in his annual speech on the state of the Union in the European Parliament.
This is not the first time Juncker has accused Ankara of "moving away from Europe". In late August, he suspected that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expected Europe to make declarations to end negotiations on Turkey's membership of the bloc to show that the EU was responsible.
Relations between Brussels and Ankara have been tense after Turkey's crackdown on opposition journalists and officials and judges after the coup attempt in July 2016, which disapproved of the EU in the form of suspending accession talks.
The already strained relationship was further hampered by statements from key German Chancellor candidates Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz during the debates earlier this month that opposed Turkey's membership of the EU. The Turkish president compared "anti-Turkish" with "National Socialism". He also accused the heads of state and government of the EU countries of failing to keep their promises to Ankara regarding the abolition of the block visa regime for Turkish nationals and the provision of financial support for Turkey's reception of refugees.
Turkey signed an association agreement with the then European Community in 1963 and submitted an application for membership in 1987.