Here an insightful article in Turkey‘s Hurriyet Daily News. It cites Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mehmet Şimşek saying that the full membership process to the European Union was Turkey’s most crucial strategic target; this was whilst speaking at the High-Level EU-Turkey Economic Dialogue meeting in Istanbul on April 25.
The article concludes reporting EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement, Johannes Hahn promising that Turkey would attract more foreign investment by taking steps on the road to democratization and freedoms. Hahn added that Turkey’s membership process to the EU showed momentum after the summit on March 18.
Elsewhere in the news, Hurriyet is reporting that Turkey is close to finalization of normalization of relations with Israel.
It would appear that Erdogan’s government has again shifted its strategic focus northwards to Europe.
Personally, I struggle with the evidence and rather than promises of full EU membership would have preferred publication of a detailed road map.
In order to gain concessions on refugees, Angela Merkel has committed Europe to Turkey’s EU membership. Turkey will likely press increasingly for more and quicker concessions. Meanwhile, Merkel and the European negotiating team seem to be showing weakness.
Let me ask an open question:
If the EU is truly democratic, surely it would be timely for an EU-wide referendum on extending the EU membership?