Erdogan chides EU on accession, cooperation against terrorism
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday again criticized European Union states for failing to cooperate with Ankara against terrorism and for raising unfair hurdles to Turkey's accession to the bloc. "We are pursuing our membership talks with determination," Erdogan told a joint news conference in Sofia alongside his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov. "But, unfortunately, no EU member country has been subject to the treatment that Turkey is now facing. It's been 50 years since we first applied to the EU, and ever since we've seen a series of delaying tactics." He added, "Sometimes we see one or two of our negotiating chapters opened during an EU term presidency, sometimes none. So we continue losing time. If the EU is in favor of enlargement and seeks reconciliation between civilizations, it should support Turkey's membership." Nationalist parties in EU member Bulgaria are against Turkey's accession, and one party has collected 330,000 signatures to demand a referendum on its membership. At the news conference, Erdogan also reiterated criticism of the EU member states' cooperation to fight terrorism. "Unfortunately some countries shelter terrorists or provide financial assistance. This is unfortunate and should never happen," he said. Erdogan has urged member states to step up efforts against the PKK. "If the EU declares the PKK a terrorist organization, then the fight [against it] should be carried out in cooperation. Unfortunately, this is not what some EU countries appear to be doing," he said.