"This recommendation came up despite concerted efforts on the part of the Turkish government to fulfill its obligations. It is apparently interwoven with political intentions," Erdogan told reporters on his flight back home from Riga, the capital of Latvia, where he was attending a NATO summit.
Erdogan called on EU officials to not overshadow Turkey's march towards its goals. He then asserted the resolve of his administration to remain resolute.
"It is not surprising at all to encounter such trouble walking in a direction toward the accomplishment of certain EU goals," said Erdogan.
"This is not going to have a negative impact on Turkey's progress with its EU goals, nor is it going to end somewhere before Turkey reaches its EU target. A meeting of EU foreign ministers is scheduled for Dec. 11, and a meeting of EU leaders is scheduled for Dec. 14-15. Things might change. The Turkish government is resolute to keep working."
Asked if his statement meant that the closed chapters would be dealt with in time and work would be maintained on chapters with the additional protocol, Erdogan said, "just so."
"Unless the Turkish side of Cyprus is set free from isolations, the Greek side of Cyprus will not be eligible for access to Turkish ports," said Erdogan.
Asked why he was not harsh in his response to the recommendation from the EU, Erdogan said, "It's unnecessary to be harsh at this stage."
"We're actually disappointed with a statement like this issued before its time. The term president of the European Union is scheduled to arrive in Ankara on Friday. This statement was scheduled for release on Dec. 6. Why the rush? This will definitely be a question for the EU term president to answer."
Asked how effectual it was to hear the pope speak about Turkey's progress with its EU goals, Erdogan said that it was necessary at this stage to wait in order to appreciate the full impact of his statements on a large Christian population of over one and a half billion.
When asked if he thought that the recommendation came as a surprise, Erdogan said, "We would not have liked it to have come earlier than expected. The Turkish government is under the same roof with EU countries as a member of international organizations like NATO; is cooperating with them on a project of creating harmony between civilizations; and is working in full cooperation with them to make peace across the Middle East. There is nothing to worry about. Things are expected to go on smoothly."Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16