February 2, 2013
ANKARA -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that Turkey “will say goodbye to the EU”.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Beta, file)
While governments of the EU member states fear that they would have to face dissatisfaction of their voters if they supported Turkey’s EU accession, Vienna-based daily Die Presse writes Turkey’s membership could bring economic and geopolitical benefits.
Ankara appears to be frustrated with the lack of progress on the EU pathway and Erdogan recently said that Turkey “will say goodbye to the EU”.
Die Presse writes that the entire case has turned into a moral test of the Austrian daily politics and the local public that is rather nervous about having Turkey in the EU.
Negotiations between the EU and Turkey officially started in 2007 but were suspended last year because of Cyprus. Turkey does not recognize Cyprus, which is an EU member state, and thus automatically does not recognize the European law, i.e. the so-called acquis communautaire which practically means it cannot join the EU, Die Presse writers.
In reality, numerous European governments, including the Austrian government, are quite happy with the situation. They believe that if Turkey started to cooperate regarding the Cyprus issue they would have to deal with their own voters and it would be a battle they could not win, Austrian media say.
Erdogan said that Turkey would look to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization if the EU did not want to allow the country to become a member.
Turkey has a status of “dialogue partner” in the Russia and China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The organization has managed to maintain its character of a security and geostrategic cooperation.
According to Austrian media, it is debatable how Russia and China would react if Turkey, a NATO member, became a full-fledged member in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Die Presses criticized the EU’s inability to recognize the benefits of the Turkish membership, bearing in mind that the country had a high economic and geopolitical growth.
According to the daily, the EU could give Turkey a status of a “privileged partner” but Erdogan stressed last year that it was out of the question and that Turkey would only accept to be a full-fledged EU member.