Turkiye Urges EU to Abandon ‘Identity Politics’ in Bilateral Relations

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 7:12 am

In a joint press conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan called on the European Union to adopt a strategic mindset and move away from the use of “identity politics” in its relations with Türkiye.

Addressing reporters in the Turkish capital, Ankara, Fidan emphasized the need for the EU to think strategically and put an end to identity-based approaches. “The EU needs to think strategically, end identity politics in its approach to Türkiye,” he stated. Türkiye expressed hope that Hungary, which will assume the rotating EU presidency in July, would make progress on crucial issues such as updating the customs union and visa liberalization during its term.

“We continue to rely on Hungary’s valuable contributions and support in overcoming obstacles to our EU membership and enhancing our relations with the EU,” Fidan added. He stressed the importance of avoiding the entanglement of Türkiye-Europe ties in the political calculations of certain countries. Türkiye expects the EU to adopt a more rational approach to its membership, contributing to regional prosperity and stability.

The relationship between the EU and Türkiye, an official candidate for EU membership since 1987, has been marked by fluctuations. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent efforts aim to revitalize stalled relations. Accession talks began in 2005, but progress has been hindered by political roadblocks from certain EU members. Issues such as the non-recognition of the divided island of Cyprus and human rights concerns have further strained the relationship.

Fidan and Szijjarto discussed events in the Balkans and Ukraine during the press conference. Both countries expressed their desire for a swift resolution of the conflict in Ukraine through a fair peace process based on international law. As part of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will visit Türkiye from March 1-3.

Szijjarto acknowledged Türkiye’s role in contributing to Hungary’s energy security by supplying natural gas. Stressing the importance of cooperation with Türkiye in addressing challenges facing Europe, he stated, “Today, in the face of the challenges looming before Europe and the EU, we cannot overcome these difficulties without cooperation with Türkiye.”

He further underlined the necessity of collaboration with Türkiye for energy and economic security, highlighting Ankara’s reliability as a transit partner. Szijjarto expressed gratitude for Türkiye’s support in dealing with the constant pressure of irregular migration, stating, “If we cannot prevent illegal migrants from reaching Europe, we will lose Europe, and we do not want that.” Hungary affirmed its continuous support for Türkiye in managing migration-related challenges.

Türkiye, a key transit point for irregular migrants, has implemented measures at its borders to prevent a new influx of migrants. Hosting over 4 million refugees, Türkiye remains at the forefront of addressing regional challenges and contributing to stability in the face of evolving geopolitical dynamics.

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