February 4, 2014 - 17:55 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Germany to step up its support for his country’s European Union accession bid, while vowing that Turkey would continue making “progress” with its reforms, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
“We expect and would like to receive great support from Germany on the path into the EU,” Erdoğan said Tuesday, Feb 4, during a speech at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.
“We would like for Germany to campaign [for it] more strongly than it has up to now,” he added.
Erdoğan’s visit to Berlin comes at a sensitive moment, as his government is fighting corruption allegations and is under pressure from Brussels to refrain from a judicial bill that could contradict EU legislation. It also follows a recent trip to EU headquarters in Brussels last month, where he gave reassurances that the government would respect the rule of law.
“It goes without saying that also it’s up to Turkey, in the [EU] admission process, to pursue its reforms and to continually further carry these out,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey began formal EU membership talks in 2005, which subsequently hit several stumbling blocks. Negotiations resumed last November following an almost three-year freeze, as both sides re-engaged to open a new chapter.
Erdoğan was set to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel later on the visit. Merkel’s conservatives openly favor forging a “privileged partnership” between the EU and Turkey, rather than full entry.