Turkey is a key strategic partner of the EU on issues such as climate, migration, security, counter-terrorism and the economy. It is the oldest candidate for membership in the European Union, but why aren’t they part of the EU yet?

Relations between them are quite interesting. There are many agreements that make life easier for both of them. Obviously, there must be some misunderstandings too. These are mainly there because Turkey still has not been accepted into the EU.

Firstly, Turkey is not in EU yet because the United Nations accused the Turkish government of massive destruction, killings and numerous other serious human rights violations against the ethnic Kurdish minority. You can read more about it in books by Orhan Pamuk. He became famous for his novels that critically deal with Turkish history of the 20th century. For that he has gotten the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006.

Secondly, there are Turkey’s illegal energy exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and its incursions into Greek airspace and Greek and Cypriot territorial waters. Because of that, members of the European Parliament have called for sanctions against Turkey and with that slowed the process of joining even more.

The EU and Turkey had reached an agreement on solving the migration crisis, and with it significantly reduced the number of migrants that entered Europe illegally. According to the agreement, all migrants without regular status who have arrived on the Greek islands from Turkey should be returned to Turkey. In return, the country should have received 6 billion in financial aid.  Despite the agreement, Erdogan has threatened to open the border with Greece because, in his opinion, the EU has not fulfilled its promises.                                    

Although relations are not always the best, they are still important to each other and make life easier for both of them.

Written by: Žan Koprivnik