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'COVID measures shouldn’t hinder Turkish-EU ties’

Anadolu Agency TURKEY
Published May 03,2021

A senior Turkish diplomat on Monday urged the EU not to take discriminatory policies against Turkey or its citizens as part of the bloc's anti-COVID measures.

On the EU debate over possible "vaccine passports," Faruk Kaymakçı, Turkey's deputy foreign minister and director for EU affairs, stressed that such a measure shouldn't hinder the movement of people between the bloc and Turkey.

If it did, such "passports" could "contradict Turkey's status as a candidate member and the Turkish-EU Customs Union," he told an online meeting organized by an association of Turkish businessmen with roots in Balkan countries.

"While we keep underlining these points, the EU said there wouldn't be any discriminatory policy (towards Turkey)," he added.

Reiterating that Turkey is an official EU candidate country, Kaymakçı said: "Turkish people want EU membership. Turkey and its citizens also believe they can achieve this goal while accepting that it is a hard and complicated process."

Underling Turkish-EU relations in the areas of industry, commerce, culture, politics, sports, and arts, he says that Turkey does not have the luxury of staying outside the EU.

On Turkish foreign policy in the Balkans, Kaymakçı underlined the strategic importance of the region for Turkey as well as deep historical ties.