Syed Kamall: We need a new, more honest relationship with Turkey

Apr 26, 2017


A new relationship is needed with Turkey that is based on co-operation, not the distant goal of European Union membership, ECR Group leader Syed Kamall told the European Parliament today.

Speaking in a key debate on the situation in Turkey following the constitutional referendum, he said it was time to recognise that Turkey may never be a member of the EU. However, he stressed that Europe must not turn its back on the country.

He said:  “Across this house today, most – if not all of us – share concerns over the current direction of the Turkish government and President Erdogan.

“However, we need to work with Turkey when it comes to controlling the flows of refugees and migrants to EU. “We need to work with Turkey on regional security as an important member of  NATO. We need to work with Turkey as we share concerns over Russian aggression.

“This is why the ECR group welcomes calls for a different kind of relationship with Turkey. 

“It will be a delicate balancing act, requiring much diplomacy. It may be a more difficult relationship but It will be a more honest relationship. More cautious. More critical. Focused more on cooperation and no longer on the distant goal of EU membership.”