VIENNA (Sputnik) – Turkey will not become the member of the European Union by the 100th anniversary of the country’s establishment in 2023, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Wednesday.
"President Erdogan definitely demonstrates dictatorial features. The way he treats critics, dissidents and minorities is absolutely unacceptable… Even if Ankara wants to join the European Union by 2023, this will not happen," Kurz told the Die Welt newspaper in an interview.
Kurz also stressed the immense economic impact of Turkey’s possible accession to the bloc.
Relations between Brussels and Ankara became strained after Turkey’s crackdown on opposition journalists, public servants and judges, after the July 2016 coup attempt. Turkey's actions have sharp prompted disapproval from the European Union, evidenced by their suspension of accession talks.
Turkey signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963 and submitted a membership application in 1987. In 1997, Turkey was declared eligible to join the European Union. Among the EU members, Turkey has the most strained relations with Austria and Germany. Vienna has repeatedly urged Ankara to put an end to the accession bid, whereas Berlin insists on a review of the EU economic policy with regard to Turkey. The European parliament voted to suspend Turkey's accession talks in early July.