Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged European Union leaders to simply say whether they want to accept Turkey as a member or not.
Turkey’s decades of efforts to join the 28-member European club seem to be stalled by the government’s harsh reaction to a coup attempt last year. Tens of thousands of people have been arrested or dismissed from their jobs in Turkey since the July 15 2016 coup attempt.
“I would like to hear a clear declaration,” Mr Erdogan said on Tuesday during a visit to Poland.
“If you want to accept Turkey, just do it. If you don’t want to, just tell that.” Polish president Andrzej Duda said Poland backs Turkey’s effort to join the EU.
“Poland has supported and supports today Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union,” Mr Duda said, standing along Mr Erdogan. “Turkey is an especially important EU partner in the area of security.”
Mr Duda said they had a “very long and honest” talk about the current situation in Turkey after the “dramatic situation” of last year’s coup attempt.
Earlier, Mr Erdogan was greeted in Poland with military honours. During the welcoming walk before Poland’s military, Mr Erdogan missed the customary bow before the troop’s banner and Mr Duda grabbed his elbow to make him return to the site.
Mr Erdogan’s planned meeting with prime minister Beata Szydlo was cancelled, her press office said, without saying why. Mr Erdogan was meeting with parliament speakers and was also planning to attend a Polish-Turkish business forum.
Poland’s small opposition left-wing Together party said Mr Erdogan should not be received with state honours because his government is “violating human rights.”