Taking advantage of the Ukrainian crisis, Turkey seeks to reap benefits at many different levels, including the European Union. The establishment of PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) in 2017 was considered by Turkey as an easy task, since its accession to NATO would open the door for it in this case as well. However, the criteria entered in order for a non-member of the European Union to join are such that they do not allow the breach.
Ankara is once again trying to achieve PESCO membership through the back door and without complying with the basic conditions of the Cooperation, many of which have to do with Turkey’s attitude towards Cyprus. The war in Ukraine and the EU’s search for a “military identity” were seen by Turkey as an opportunity to join PESCO. However, it does not succeed because it does not meet the basic conditions that have been set for a country to join the Cooperation. Among the criteria met by Turkey are:
1. Agreement on the secure exchange of classified information between Member States. It is taken for granted that Turkey in no way intends to exchange classified information with the Republic of Cyprus. Something that can be seen through the EU-NATO dialogue that is facing problems due to the Turkish attitude towards Cyprus.
2. A number of political criteria relating to respect for the principles of good neighborliness are also not met by Turkey, given its aggressive actions against Cyprus and Greece.
Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides recently stated (Sigma) that he was receiving “some messages from countries that want to upgrade Turkey in terms of Europe’s external security and defense and its participation in PESCO”. Kasoulidis’s report did not come out of nowhere as some of Turkey’s NATO allies push in their own way, citing the well-known excuse for contributing to the improvement of the EU-NATO dialogue and Ankara’s relations with Greece and Cyprus. This recipe has been tried many times in the past without successful results.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaimaktsi in a statement (source Gunes / GTP) criticized the EU for the fact that despite promises made to Turkey in 2004, his country is not on the European Defense Agenda and PESCO. Noting that there are problems in many areas due to the Cyprus issue, Kaimaktsi said that this also affects EU-NATO co-operation.
Speaking at the 79th Session of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, Kaimaktsi said that Turkey has always been committed to security and stability in Europe and that it is conducting diplomatic efforts with many parties, including Ukraine and Russia, to achieve stability and stability. . He noted that in the course of Turkey’s accession there are things that are similar to it, but argued that the EU is not behaving fairly in his country. “The stronger the accession process, the faster the reforms in Turkey will be,” Kaimaktsi added, noting that 80% of the Turkish people are in favor of his country joining the EU and that this is also supported by the parties represented in Turkey. National Assembly.
The Turkish official also expressed the view that “it is now a necessity to modernize Turkey’s Customs Union” with the EU, arguing that efforts for economic recovery after the pandemic, digital transformation and green trade urgently require a modernized, Customs the existing one does not meet the needs.