Politics

Turkish minister voices concern over EU's future

EU Minister Omer Celik's concern comes after German vice chancellor says Turkey will not be a bloc member anytime soon

29.08.2016
Turkish minister voices concern over EU's future

ANKARA

Turkey's EU minister has expressed concern over the future of the 28-nation bloc after Germany's vice chancellor said he did not see the country joining the union anytime soon.

On Sunday, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said he "did not see Turkey joining the EU" during his political career, adding the union would not take Turkey in even if Ankara met all the requirements tomorrow.

"Even if you're very optimistic about my political career, I certainly won't see Turkey becoming a member of this EU," Gabriel had said at a press conference.

EU Minister Omer Celik hit back at the remarks via Twitter Monday, saying "statements not based on objective criteria can't reflect EU's position on Turkey.

"EU should first judge itself honestly and objectively while discrimination, xenophobia and Islamophobia are rampant," Celik said. "If EU keeps failing in democracy and pluralism tests, it would definitely not be the EU that we would want to be a part of."

He added: "Nothing to worry about Turkey in the wake of such statements. Yet, would be right to be concerned for EU's future…Such opinions make the EU susceptible to serious risks for its future."

Tensions between Ankara and Brussels have increased after the July 15 defeated coup. Agreements between the two sides are on a stalemate as well, with three agreements -- readmission, refugee and visa-free travel -- dependent on each other, according to Turkish officials.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told French daily Le Monde earlier this month, “The readmission agreement and visa liberalization were to come into force simultaneously on June 1. It is now August and the visa liberalization is still pending,” adding, “If our claims are not met, we will have to stop readmissions.”

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