The leader of the Turkish opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said that EU membership was not a question of identity or existence for Turkey.
“Turkey is not a satellite or fake country that can stay on the EU’s orbit and hand over its sovereignty,” said Devlet Bahceli to MHP lawmakers in parliament on Tuesday.
Bahceli said the EU had completely closed its doors to Turkey. “This reality should be seen,” he added.
“It is an obligation to give the necessary response to the EU while showing a national stance,” said Bahceli.
Bahceli’s remarks came after Monday’s Turkey-EU summit held under the leadership of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, European Council President Donald Tusk and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Varna, Bulgaria.
In a joint news conference, Erdogan said that it would be a “grave mistake” for Europe to push Turkey out of its expansion policy.
Bahceli suggested the EU has not been upfront during negotiations with Turkey.
“The EU membership is not an identity, an existence issue for Turkey,” said Bahceli.
“Either a way of honorable, equal and esteemed membership is opened, or everybody goes its own way.”
“[Turkey’s EU membership process] can end, it is not the end of world,” he said.
Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 while accession talks began in 2005.
However, negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration in the divided island of Cyprus, as well as opposition from Germany and France.
To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations on 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.
As of May 2016, a total of 16 chapters had been opened and one concluded. However, in December 2016, the member states said no new chapters would be opened.