Juncker calls on Turkey to become 'European again' to preserve chances of EU membership

Newsfeed - Anatolia

by The Region

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday urged Turkey to return to European values in order to maintain its chances of joining the European Union.

"Some of the Turkish authorities are trying to blame the European Union for having broken the accession promise. We are not doing that, but we want Turkey to re-become European," Juncker said at a press conference.

Juncker added he personally would like Ankara and Brussels "to have the best relations possible, but Turkey, for the time being, is stepping away from the European Union."

Relations between the European Union and Turkey deteriorated against the backdrop of Ankara’s harsh actions after the July 2016 failed coup attempt. In November 2016, European lawmakers voted in favour of freezing EU accession talks with Turkey until Ankara lifts the restrictive measures introduced after the failed coup.

In May, Turkish President Erdogan threatened to wave "goodbye" to the European Union unless the process of Turkey's accession to the bloc moved forward.