Turkish prime minister slams half-century delay for EU admission


The Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says it is “unforgivable” that Turkey has been made to wait half a century to become part of the European Union and it should be admitted without delay.

The country of 74 million people launched a formal EU accession bid in 2005, four decades after the first talks, but the process has stalled due to opposition, notably from France and Germany, as well as unresolved differences over the division of Cyprus. Last October, Mr Erdogan said the EU could lose Turkey if it did not grant it membership by 2023, the centenary of the founding of the modern Turkish state.

Speaking on a visit to Prague today, Mr Erdogan said: “This delay for Turkey in the process is unforgivable.”