World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey is not a guest but a host country in Europe, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.
"Neither the European Union nor the European countries that are on the brink of falling into the clutches of racism can exclude Turkey from Europe. We are not a guest but a host in Europe," Erdogan told a meeting with mukhtars (village heads) at the presidential complex.
He said the problems Turkey was going through with some European countries were current political disputes.
"If the EU is ready to put aside its meaningless hostility and double standards against Turkey, we are ready for full membership to the EU," said president.
Erdogan vowed to "show goodwill" after the 28-union bloc took a step on what he said were visa-free travel, €6 billion aid for refugees, and opening on new chapters in EU membership talks.
"The term of one-sided commitment is over," Erdogan said, adding Turkey was tired of waiting for an answer from the EU for over 50 years.
"If the Europe does its part, then we will stand behind all of our promises. Otherwise, it is their own choice!" he added.
Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March, which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The March 18 deal also allowed for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area.
In a joint statement dated Nov. 29, 2015, the EU and Turkey had confirmed their commitment to re-energise the accession process. Turkey formally applied to become an EU member in 1987, while accession talks began in 2005.
However, almost a year later, on Nov. 24, the European Parliament approved a non-binding motion to freeze EU-membership talks with Turkey, in response to post-coup investigations and recent developments in the country including measures taken within the framework of the fight against the PKK and FETO terror groups.
Following the EP’s vote, Erdogan warned to open the country’s borders and allow refugees into the EU.
The EU countries' leaders also decided to evaluate relations with Turkey at the EU summit on Dec. 15 and 16.Last Mod: 01 Aralık 2016, 18:10