Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for the European Union (EU) Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı delivered a speech titled “Turkey-EU relations in the context of Russia’s Attack on Ukraine” at the Vienna Diplomacy Academy, one of Austria’s well-established educational institutions.
Summarizing the process of Turkey-EU relations until the Russia-Ukraine war, Kaymakcı drew attention to the problems and steps to be taken in the areas of irregular migration, customs union, fight against terrorism, energy and food security.
Kaymakcı stated that Turkey was left alone in the fight against irregular migration and Syria, and that the EU did not fulfill most of its promises regarding the 18 March Agreement reached between Ankara and Brussels.
– “FOLLOWING THE COUP ATTEMPT, THERE WAS DISCHARGE BETWEEN THE PARTIES”
Kaymakcı stated that after the refugee crisis and the March 18 Reconciliation, relations initially progressed positively, but the coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) had a negative impact on the relations. Or Fetullah Gülen? You may or may not like some politicians in terms of politics, but Turkey is a democratic country and has a government. This government cannot be overthrown by a military coup or by force. This issue has actually led to serious insecurity in relations between Turkey and Europe.” he said.
Noting that the cooperation in the fight against terrorism is relatively better, but the EU has shown different approaches towards terrorist groups, Kaymakcı mentioned that Turkey’s sensitivities regarding terrorism are not seen.
– “TURKEY IS EXCLUDED BY THE EU”
Kaymakcı “Turkey was isolated and excluded by the EU. As you know, a terminology such as ‘Western Balkan countries’ was developed and Turkey was separated from other candidate countries.” shared his opinion.
Explaining that the EU holds regular meetings with 6 countries called the Western Balkan countries, Kaymakcı noted that the talks with Turkey were blocked due to the tension in the Mediterranean.
Pointing out that the EU has marginalized Turkey with its approaches in many areas, Kaymakcı said, “If Turkey were a member of the EU, we could have prevented the war in Iraq and Syria. I think Russia’s war could have been prevented, if Turkey were a member of the EU. Because that means this. In such a case, NATO would be the army of the EU.” said.
Stating that EU membership is a strategic goal for Turkey and they are behind this goal, Kaymakcı said that progress could not be made because the EU’s stance on negotiations is not motivating.
Referring to what needs to be done after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, Kaymakcı said that the security and defense mechanism should be strengthened, but Turkey’s participation in various formations such as the EU Defense Agency was prevented.
– OBSTRUCTIONS OF GREECE AND GREEK SECTION
Noting that Europe and Turkey are dependent on Russian natural gas and oil, Kaymakcı stated that much stronger cooperation can be made in the field of energy in this process, but due to the negative attitude of Greece and the Greek Cypriot side, the hydrocarbon resources in the Mediterranean could not be utilized.
Pointing out that the parties are in serious damage due to the failure to update the customs union agreement, Kaymakcı emphasized that the commercial capacity could be doubled with the said update, but the desired steps could not be taken in this area due to the obstacles of Greece and the Greek Cypriot side.
– GRAIN AGREEMENT
Kaymakcı underlined that issues such as food safety, grain and fertilizer are now on the agenda of the international public opinion, and that as a result of Turkey’s efforts with the UN, grain can be sent from Ukraine to many countries, especially Africa, with the conclusion of a grain agreement.
“I had a phone call with my Irish counterpart this morning. He said ‘we are grateful to you’ on the phone. I asked him what it was, and he replied, ‘We also got grain from Ukraine’.” Kaymakcı stated that Turkey’s peace efforts continue with determination so that the aforementioned grain agreement will contribute to a ceasefire between the parties.
– “UKRAINE MIGRANTS SHOULD NOT BACK THE ISSUE OF SYRIAN REFUGEES”
Kaymakcı stated that millions of Ukrainians had to immigrate to various European countries, including Turkey, due to the war, and that this was a serious test, and drew attention to the fact that the issue of Ukrainian refugees should not put the Syrian refugee issue into the background.
Emphasizing that crises can sometimes play an important role in putting the relations in a better form and renewing them, Kaymakcı said, “The war that Russia started in Ukraine is a great opportunity for Turkey and the EU to see what mistakes we have made in the past and what we can do to revive relations in the future. I strongly believe it is.” made its assessment.
– GREEK REPRESENTATIVE DIPLOMACY LESSON
Kaymakcı, who responded to the accusations of a Greek diplomat attending the conference against Turkey as a diplomacy lesson, said, “The only thing we want is that Greece and Greek Cyprus (within the EU) do not abuse their veto right. We can’t solve any problem.” used the phrases.
Noting that Greece and Southern Cyprus do not constitute a serious agenda in Turkey, Kaymakcı added that Turkey constitutes the main agenda item of the Greek press, that this is an unnecessary attitude, and that Athens should make friends, not enemies.
Kaymakcı, who came together with Helga Schimdle, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) within the scope of her contacts in Austria, will continue her contacts tomorrow.