The Turkish minister reaffirmed Ankara’s determination to join the bloc and its readiness to meet EU requirements but underlined that the EU needs to take serious decisions on many issues, including enlargement. Turkey signed a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and was officially recognized as a candidate for full membership in 1999.
The two sides had been involved in talks with the EU for over membership since 2005 after economic and political reforms that made it an important emerging market economy and trade partner. The talks have never been easy due to disputed Turkish claims over Cyprus. The talks rapidly unraveled after a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016. Observers say Turkey will meet EU conditions as far as they don’t stand in contradicting with its national security and territorial integrity.
Turkey's recent support for Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia and its presence in northeast Syria may hamper efforts to join the EU. The two sides have also been at odds on the flow of migrants from the region into Europe. Ankara has repeatedly complained that Brussels has failed to keep its pledges under a deal on migrants.
Observers here say the EU has already made its decision to reject Turkey's accession with many European countries making it clear that Turkey has not met requirements to be part of the bloc.