ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday charged that the European Union has a “biased and prejudiced” stance on Turkey, following stinging EU criticism over a crackdown in the wake of the failed coup.
“They are making statements that are contradictory. They are biased, they are prejudiced and will continue to act in this prejudiced manner towards Turkey,” Erdogan told France 24 television in an interview.
Turkey’s longstanding EU bid is hanging in the balance after Erdogan suggested it may reintroduce the death penalty in the wake of the attempted putsch, a move which would instantly disqualify it from EU membership.
Brussels has expressed concern over the imposition of a state of emergency in the wake of the coup bid, which Ankara says is no different to similar measures taken by France last year.
Erdogan complained that Turkey had for decades watched other new members join the EU in waves of enlargement which were far less qualified to join.
“For the past 53 years Europe has been making us wait,” he said. “We are in a better condition than countries that have become members… No (EU candidate country) has had to suffer like we have had to suffer.”
Turkey’s membership bid dates back to 1963, with its formal application made in 1987 and negotiations starting in 2005. AFP