What are you looking for?


German, Turkish ministers discuss better EU-Turkish ties

German, Turkish ministers discuss better EU-Turkish ties

Ties between Turkey and the European Union are in a better place now thanks to constructive steps taken by Europe, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Monday.

“We are not engaging in new initiatives toward the EU because of sanctions. We decided to approach the EU because of their constructive stance toward Turkey during the union’s December summit,” Çavuşoğlu expressed during a joint news conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in the capital Ankara.

Maas agreed with Çavuşoğlu on opening a new chapter in bilateral ties. “Our efforts are for establishing constructive and sustainable ties between Turkey and the EU,” he said.

Last week, Çavuşoğlu, alongside President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, held a meeting with EU ambassadors in Ankara, during which Turkey’s intention to restore strong bilateral ties with the union was highlighted.

Turkey is ready to set a “positive agenda” with the EU, including a long-term perspective, the president said during the meeting, adding that relations must get back on track. Erdoğan said last week in a statement that Turkey prioritizes the EU in its agenda and sees its future in Europe.

Ankara hopes to start afresh with the bloc in the new year, the president said, adding that interactions with the EU in 2020 were unproductive due to the artificial problems created by certain EU members.

Other than the bilateral ties between Brussels and Ankara, four topics are expected to dominate the agenda: updating the migrant deal with the EU, visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, updating the customs union with the EU and Turkey’s proposal for an Eastern Mediterranean conference.

EU leaders during a meeting in Brussels on Dec. 10 decided to draw up a list of Turkish targets for sanctions over what they described as Ankara’s “unilateral actions and provocations” in the Eastern Mediterranean, an area believed to be rich in energy resources.