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Monday, May 21, 2018, 

Turkey accuses EU of "favoring Balkan candidates"

Turkey accuses EU of "favoring Balkan candidates"

Brussels, 20 April 2018 (MIA) - Turkey's Ambassador to the EU Faruk Kaymakcı has told EURACTIV that the the European Commission was unfair to Turkey in its latest progress report.

According to Kaymakci, the EC favored the Balkan candidates, ignoring Turkey’s difficulties and failing to provide a clearer accession perspective for Ankara.

The ambassador said that the report "has some problems."

"One is that it makes a differentiation between the Western Balkans and Turkey. Actually, there is no description of Western Balkans. What is the southern Balkans, what is the northern Balkans? There is no such a definition. If you talk about candidate countries, there are only five and there are two potential candidates. One of them is not even recognized by all the EU member states," Kaymakci said, referring to Kosovo.

The report should also give a clearer perspective of accession, he continued. "If the EU is not acting as a real anchor, EU cannot expect any of the candidate countries to be a credible candidate. This is the dilemma of the EU. Why is this given clearly to those six countries in the Balkans and not clearly given to Turkey, although Turkey is also a negotiating candidate?"

The more EU will become an anchor, the more willing and faster Turkey will become in terms of reforms and aligning itself with the EU acquis, the diplomat said.

Asked whether he "felt that Russia, politically and diplomatically speaking, is currently closer to Turkey's interests than Europe and the US," Kaymakci said that is country is "a member of the West and Europe" but that "for the time being, unfortunately, our allies in the West are not trying to understand and support us sufficiently." ik/16:28

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