Erdogan suggests that Turkey has the potential to separate from the European Union.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Saturday that Ankara might consider terminating its EU membership bid, suggesting a potential separation from the European Union.

He informed journalists in Istanbul before departing for New York, where he will participate in the 78th UN General Assembly, that the European Union is attempting to distance itself from Turkey.

When questioned about the European Parliament report on Turkey, Erdogan stated that we will assess these developments ourselves and, if needed, we might consider separating from the European Union.

Erdogan’s statement on Saturday came more than a week after Turkey’s foreign minister affirmed his country’s resolve to join the EU and urged the bloc to take courageous steps to advance its bid.

Erdogan is sworn in for another term as president of Turkey.

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What was the subject matter of the report from the European Parliament?

The report, which was approved earlier this week, stated that Turkey’s path to joining the EU cannot continue given the present conditions. It also urged the European Union to consider an alternative and practical approach to its relationship with Ankara.

The European Parliament report was criticized by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry as being “unfounded” and “based on disinformation.” The ministry further stated that the report included baseless accusations and biases, and displayed a superficial and lacking foresight in its assessment of Turkey’s relationship with the EU.

Turkey-EU accession talks have been ongoing since 2005 but are effectively frozen amid Brussels’ concerns over the deteriorating rule of law and the human rights situation in Turkey.

After being reelected in May, Erdogan urged for the resumption of talks to join the EU. In July, he proposed that the EU should accept Turkey into the bloc as a condition for Sweden’s NATO membership.

dh/sms (dpa, Reuters)