Turkey included among African countries: European Commissioner needs a map

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Especially after 2018, the European Union, in trying to eclipse the fact that Turkey is a candidate country for accession negotiations and to place the perception of “very important partner and neighbor”, has taken a step that pushes back borders in that direction. The European Commission has approached a new organization within the Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations. Turkey has been moved to the unit where the countries of the Middle East and North Africa have taken their places in the new organization chart. The name of the new unit was “Southern Quarters and Turkey”. The link of expansion, which has long been tried to erode, has been further weakened by this movement.

The European Commission, which is Turkey’s main interlocutor in the conduct of accession negotiations, initially had an approach that did not allow discrimination between candidate countries.

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The organization also paralleled this understanding. However, the tendency of EU countries to place the Western Balkans in a privileged position has also been reflected in the Commission’s approach. Although Turkey was separated from the Western Balkans in the organizational chart of the relevant Directorate-General in 2019, it was included in the “Strategy and Turkey” unit and was not transferred to the “Southern Neighborhoods” unit. “. The new “Southern Neighborhood and Turkey” section; It also includes Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Palestine. One of the most important factors driving efforts to put relations with Turkey in a different mold, both in the recent growing discourse and in the final stage of the European Commission, is the declaration “The European Council notes that Turkey has moved away from the EU “taken in June 2018. the decision involved. In the decision taken by EU foreign ministers and supported by leaders,” the negotiations for Turkey’s membership has effectively stalled and it is unthinkable to open or close other chapters under current conditions.

ANKARA IS uncomfortable

Ankara, which opposes discrimination between candidate countries during the enlargement process, is quite uncomfortable with the latest developments. We know that the European enlargement commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, has been preparing a step in this direction for a long time. Turkey, on the other hand, warned early on that such a move would have negative consequences and suggested that it would be appropriate to reconsider the decision. Although the suggestions and brutal outbursts in front of the European Commission created some braking effect, they did not change the outcome. The issue was also raised during Varhelyi’s visit to Turkey on September 6-7.


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After severing ties with the former “enlargement commissioner”, the Austrian Johannes Hahn, during the last legislature of his mandate, Turkey expected to find a positive line with the Hungarian Oliver Varhelyi. It is difficult to say that this expectation has been met at this point. Efforts to reduce relations especially to the immigration problem can be found in Varhelyi, as is the case with most EU officials. It is also among the frequently heard comments that he does not use his position and the Commissioner’s weight on Turkey, and that he does not take ownership of the process. The fact that he made his first official visit to Turkey almost two years after taking office is a summary of Varhelyi’s approach.

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