BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Turkey signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963 and submitted a membership application in 1987. Talks on Ankara's membership of the European Union began in 2005 but have been repeatedly suspended due to various obstacles, such as the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
"Economically, Turkey is almost a member of the EU… If the EU keeps its promises and if the EU plays fair with Turkey, then we will even accelerate our accession to the EU," Kaymakci said, as quoted by the Politico newspaper.
Kaymakci noted that the continuation of the process of the country's accession to the European Union was "good for Turkey and for the EU," but stressed that Europe fails to stick to the migration deal.
In March 2016, Turkey and the European Union agreed on a deal under which Ankara pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in EU states through its territory in exchange for the accommodation of Syrian refugees on a one-for-one basis in Turkey and major concessions on membership and visas. In August 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Ankara would withdraw from the deal if the European Union failed to grant a visa waiver for Turkish citizens.
On Tuesday, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said that the issue of Turkey’s EU membership was no longer on the bloc's immediate agenda after the outcome of the country's constitutional referendum on expansion of presidential powers, as well as other issues, such as the possible reinstatement of capital punishment.