An exasperated Turkish prime minister has accused the EU of moving the goal posts as his country ploughs through the drawn out process of applying for membership.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country had been “waiting at the gates of Europe for 50 years.”
“We are in a negotiation process but unfortunately there has been such neglect and so many insensitivities and Turkey is paying such a high and heavy bill that both the government and the public are getting uncomfortable and offended with the situation,” said Prime Minister Erdogan.
His comments came on the day the EU’s Commission said Ankara had made uneven progress towards meeting European criteria for joining.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle said:
“I would reject a notion that we are wasting our time. Over the years we proceed with the accession talks, we have seen the reform progress in Turkey, a lot of things have changed.”
The Commission’s annual report said a major sticking point had been Turkey’s failure to normalise relations with Cyprus.
However, progress on bolstering democratic institutions was acknowledged.