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EU Membership Not Fundamental Condition for Turkey's Development

CC0 / Pixabay / Turkish and EU flags
Turkish and EU flags - Sputnik International
Ahmet Iyimaya, the chairman of Turkish parliament's Justice Commission, said that, presently, the European Union needed Turkey to join more than Turkey itself needed it, and, while 10 or 20 years ago Ankara used to be dependent on Brussels, it was now fully capable of defending its interests.

A woman adjusts the Turkish flag next to the European Union flag before the arrival of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (unseen) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels January 15, 2015. - Sputnik International
Turkey’s U-Turn on EU: From New Hope of Membership to Standstill
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkey's existence does not hinge on EU membership and the bloc might have more to gain from Turkey's accession than Ankara, the chairman of Turkish parliament's Justice Commission, Ahmet Iyimaya, told Sputnik.

"Joining EU is not Turkey's raison d'etre or the only thing to facilitate its development… Without EU, Turkey will remain the state capable of solving its problems efficiently and maintaining its international relations," Iyimaya, a member of the country's ruling AKP party, said.

The Turkish lawmaker said that, presently, the European Union needed Turkey to join more than Turkey itself needed it, and, while 10 or 20 years ago Ankara used to be dependent on Brussels, it was now fully capable of defending its interests.

A European Union (L) and Turkish flag fly outside a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, May 4, 2016. - Sputnik International
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According to Iyimaya, the relationship between Ankara and the bloc would not fall apart and the European Union was likely to eventually invite Turkey to join, despite existing cultural, religious and civilizational differences.

Turkey became the candidate for EU membership in 2005, but the talks on the accession were lagging. In March, Turkey's candidature received a boost as it signed an agreement with the European Union on taking back migrants who arrived illegally in Greece in exchange for financial aid and concessions on visas.

Brussels' relationship with Ankara took a hit in the aftermath of the July's foiled coup in Turkey, when the European Union objected to the Turkish government's clampdown on those suspected of ties to the coup organizers.

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