By Kamila Aliyeva
Turkey wants to open a new page in relations with the European Union, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said during a press conference with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras in Athens on June 19.
Yildirim said that President Erdogan had repeatedly voiced this. Despite the fact that Turkey and the EU have signed an agreement on the abolition of visas, the EU did not fulfill its promises, according to minister.
Earlier, the EU minister and chief negotiator on the issues of accession Omer Celik said that Turkey should not refuse to join the EU.
The Association Agreement between the EU and Turkey was signed back in 1963. Ankara filed an application for membership in the EU in 1987.
Accession negotiations started back in 2005, but until Turkey agrees to apply the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Association Agreement to Cyprus, eight negotiation chapters will not be opened and no chapter will be provisionally closed.
The Turkey-EU relations, after years of deadlock following the opening of accession talks in 2005, intensified in 2016 with parties closely cooperating to stem the flow of refugees into the EU.
The visa liberalization scheme for Turkish citizens and the speeding up of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations are also part of the migration deal agreed upon in November 2015 and finalized in March 2016.
Overall, Turkey is the country in the world hosting the highest number of refugees, and has already spent significant financial resources on addressing this crisis.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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