Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

Brussels, 20 December 2022

Parliament’s standing rapporteur for Türkiye Nacho Sánchez Amor has concluded a visit to Türkiye and issued the following statement:

“Türkiye plays an instrumental, strategic role in the region, as the Russian war of aggression continues to cause unprecedented geopolitical shifts in Europe. I would like to reiterate my appreciation for Türkiye’s role as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia and in brokering the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

NATO and migration as factors

Besides being a NATO ally and a key partner in trade, economy and migration, Türkiye remains a candidate for EU accession. My role as Rapporteur is to assess the country’s progress in this regard, as I am preparing to draft the new report in 2023. For now, I regret to observe that in the case of Türkiye we can only speak of lack of progress.

The accession process, which continues to be based on clear criteria, cannot simply be overridden by geopolitics. However, greater efforts to not circumvent sanctions against Russia would be a step in the right direction as part of an alignment with EU foreign policy. Becoming a member of the EU is intrisically linked with the state of democracy in a country.

Aligning with the EU means aligning with a certain model of society. The model that the Turkish government is offering today is, conversely, characterised by authoritarian rule and an absence of checks and balances. We can continue discussing issues of common interest; though this mode of cooperation alone will neither allow our relations to reach their potential, nor are they likely to satisfy the aspirations of Turkish society.

Europe does not have a problem with Türkiye formulating and defending its own foreign policy. The way in which this policy is currently conducted, however, using harsh rhetoric and military means, raises serious concerns especially when diplomatic methods and international law are increasingly ignored. Being a powerful regional actor is not contradictory to upholding democratic values. It remains my sincere wish to see Türkiye return to the path of democracy, and that trust can be re-established.”

Read the press statement in Turkish here.


Nacho Sánchez Amor, European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Türkiye, travelled to Ankara for a fact-finding mission on 19 and 20 December 2022. The visit was scheduled as part of preparations for the upcoming annual report on Türkiye and included a wide range of contacts with high-level officials in the Government, Parliament, think tanks as well as representatives of political parties and civil society. The upcoming annual report on Türkiye will be presented and discussed in 2023, with due respect to the pre-electoral phase the country is expected to be in. By established convention, progress reports on accession countries are not voted on close to elections.

Before returning to Brussels, Mr Sánchez Amor held a press conference at the EU Delegation in Ankara to share his assessment of the mission.

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