“EU leaders must take ‘leap of faith’ to believe Turkey’s U-turn” Pierini says

Former European Union ambassador to Ankara Marc Pierini spoke with Ahval’s Yavuz Baydar about Turkey’s bid for EU accession at a critical time when Biden took control of the US Presidency and the US’ Western allies are to review ties with Turkey.

Pierini addressed a number of issues in Turkey hindering the country’s decades-long EU bid and alienating Ankara from its Western allies.  According to Pierini, Turkey’s bid for EU membership is over, and a new transactional relationship is taking shape.  Citing Josep Borrell’s statement in the European Parliament on the need for action from Ankara, Pierini said the EP “won’t allow major progress with Turkey without some change on human rights and the rule of law. Because this is the nature of a democratic society.”

“The problem is that you have a perfectly autocratic system of government in Turkey,” Pierini said, adding that EU leaders would have to make “a massive leap of faith” to believe the recent U-turn in Turkey’s discourse.

According to the former ambassador 2020 was a watershed moment in EU-Turkey relations with the pile up of several issues and 2021 will be critical on that base.

The interview is below.