Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Ankara no longer “expects anything” from the European Union after waiting for over 40 years to join the bloc.
Addressing the Turkish Parliament, Erdogan said: “We have fulfilled all the promises we made to the European Union, but they have not fulfilled almost any of their promises.”
Ankara, he added, “will not accept new requirements or conditions” to join the bloc.
“Unless they reverse certain injustices, such as the imposition of entry visas which they use as a hidden punishment, unless they correct their mistakes… they completely lose their right to wait for political, social, economic or military expectations from us,” he added.
The Turkish president stressed that “if the European Union has the intention to put an end to Turkiye’s accession path, which only exists on paper, this will be its business.”
Erdogan’s statements came days after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Turkiye for convicting a teacher in the wake of the 2016 attempted coup on the grounds he had downloaded an encrypted messaging app linked to the alleged plotters.
The ruling that the rights of Yuksel Yalcinkaya had been violated could set a precedent, with thousands of similar cases pending before the Strasbourg-based court.
Ankara accuses the Fethullah Gulen movement of orchestrating the coup attempt to overthrow Erdogan, and says a messaging app called ByLock was used to coordinate the plot.
Thousands of people were arrested and convicted following the failed coup attempt.
Erdogan said yesterday the ECHR decision was the “straw that broke the camel’s back”.
“This decision will not bring any relief to the miscreant members of the Gulen group,” the president said, stressing that his country “will not take a step back in the fight against this group of traitors.”