Turkey and EU: Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Sets Deadline for EU Admission
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he wants Turkey to be a full member of the EU by 2023. Chancellor Angela Merkel assured him the talks would be “honest.’ Their meeting in Berlin once again showed that relations between Turkey and Germany have become complicated.
At the end of the news conference Angela Merkel narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips. Her face seemed to say: What’s he talking about? Next to her, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was talking about Cyprus. It was a mistake, he said, to allow “South Cyprus” into the European Union, and he added that the chancellor shared that view.
It’s a claim Erdogan has made before, most recently on Tuesday evening at the opening of the new Turkish Embassy in Berlin. That doesn’t make it any truer, say officials close to Merkel. Some might say it’s not especially diplomatic of him to repeat the statement in her presence. But perhaps the prime minister really believes it. Merkel is wise enough not to contradict him in public. She prefers to direct him to the side for the obligatory photo in front of the flags of their two nations. A handshake, smiles, and off they go