Assita Kanko: “High time to shatter the illusion of Turkish EU membership.”

6 October 2020
Powerful signal to Erdogan

“It is high time to shatter the illusion of Turkish EU membership.” The European Commission presented its 2020 progress report on the enlargement process in the Western Balkans, with the possibility of Turkey becoming a member of the European Union. MEP and member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Assita Kanko thinks the part about Turkey is ridiculous: “It is time to acknowledge the truth. Both economically and geopolitically, Turkey is an important strategic partner for the EU, but in recent years that country has not shown itself to be a credible or reliable partner.”

Deterioration in the human rights situation

Assita Kanko thinks that ending pre-accession funding for Turkey is important in order to restore public confidence in the EU’s relationship with Turkey. She points to the deterioration of democracy and human rights in Turkey in recent years: “Turkey has become a destabilising factor in the European neighbourhood. This is evidenced, among other things, by Turkey’s pernicious actions in Syria and Libya, its provocative actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, its lack of mutual respect towards Christian communities and its malicious actions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

EU membership is a privilege

Assita Kanko argues that membership and accession to the EU is not a right but a privilege. “To become a member of the EU, a country must respect democratic principles and human rights and have stable institutions and a functioning market economy. Turkey does not meet these criteria and it is also not trying to align its values with those of the EU.”

Better spending of tax money

Taxpayers’ money must be better spent, and the EU’s relationship with Turkey must be fundamentally rethought. “It is time for the EU to realise that we can only have a business relationship with Turkey. And that it is high time to shatter the illusion of Turkish EU membership,” Assita Kanko concludes.

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