"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.
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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