The olive branch is a symbol of reconciliation. In its capacity, the EU has offered Turkey a number of constructive proposals that could ease tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and improve bilateral relations, euronews reported.
At the talks in Ankara between EU President Charles Michel, EC President Ursula von der Leyen and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the main issues of discussion were the Customs Union and the extension of the migration deal. However, European politicians noted with disappointment that it was not possible to establish mutual trust. Ms von der Leyen notes:
“Turkey must respect international norms and standards of human rights, which, by the way, the country has undertaken to comply with as one of the founders of the Council of Europe. I am deeply concerned about the fact that Turkey has withdrawn from the Istanbul Convention for the Protection of Women and Children from Violence. This is clearly the wrong signal at a time like this. The European Union will never hesitate to point out negative developments. This also applies to unilateral actions against EU member states such as Greece or Cyprus. ”
Among the EU’s claims against Turkey is a violation of the rule of law. The Turkish president is being blamed for the country’s penchant for authoritarianism, persecution of opponents, and the arrest of retired admirals for criticizing the government. Mark Pierini of the Carnegie Europe Center noted that there were no concessions from Turkey:
“The game with President Erdogan was very understandable from the very beginning, or rather from 2018, when he came to France and Germany in the same year. He decided to re-discuss refugees and economic issues, and leave the rule of law aside. I think Ursula von der Leyen expressed herself very clearly. She said she asked questions but received no answers. The European side has clearly changed its tone. But I do not notice the change in tone on the Turkish side at the moment. “
Charles Michel informed that the situation with Turkey will be the subject of discussion and revision by the leaders of the European Union at their upcoming meeting in June. At the same time, the press secretary of the Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin, commenting on the results of the negotiations, notes:
The meeting took place in a generally positive atmosphere. The relations between Turkey and the EU were analyzed in detail. Our President recalled that Turkey’s ultimate goal is full membership in the European Union. He expressed Turkey’s expectations for the renewal of the Customs Union agreement and the migration agreement, ensuring the liberalization of the visa regime for Turkish citizens, relations between peoples and high-level political consultations.