'Turkey is Europe': Çavuşoğlu stresses Ankara's role in EU security

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Turkey

Turkey is a natural and strong partner in maintaining and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the European Union and wider Europe, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Monday.

The top Turkish diplomat made the remarks during a ceremony attended by Turkish ambassadors in the capital Ankara on Monday.

"If we have done and are doing with the European Union what we have achieved in foreign policy alone, the European Union would be applauded as a global actor all over the world," Çavuşoğlu said.

“Turkey is Europe and Europe needs Turkey. European security needs Turkey,” he added. “We expect the European Union to take concrete steps towards cooperation with and the membership bid of Turkey.”

Turkey opened accession talks with the EU in 2005, pledging to strengthen its democracy, guarantee rule of law and match regulations governing the economy with those of the 27-member bloc. But the political and economic union froze talks on the chapters of Turkey’s accession following a military coup attempt in 2016, when it strayed further from Europe’s democratic standards.

"Today, the engagement sought by formulas such as the European Political or Geopolitical Community has already been established for us through the partnership status, the Customs Union relationship and the EU membership negotiation process,” Çavuşoğlu said.

“We are not open to suggestions that will cast a shadow over our membership process. We look favorably on integration steps that will accelerate our membership and empower us in relevant policy areas," the Turkish foreign minister added.

Turkey has been calling to revitalize its accession process, in addition to updating the EU-Turkey Customs Union, regular high-level dialogues, visa liberalization and cooperation on counterterrorism.

Members of the European Parliament in June adopted a Turkey report, which states that the EU’s top political body cannot envisage resuming accessions talks with Ankara without significant and clear steps from Ankara on EU-related norms.