Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday criticized the European Union’s adamant position in obstructing Turkey’s path to EU membership, saying that Croatia did not even exist as a state when Turkey applied to the 27-nation bloc decades ago.
Erdoğan told reporters in a joint news conference with his Croatian counterpart, Jadranka Kosor, that Turkey and Croatia began negotiations for EU membership at the same time and that the Balkan country did not even exist when Turkey applied for membership.
Noting that Turkey first sought membership in the EU in 1963, Erdoğan said there was no such state as Croatia then. He added that the EU has kept moving the goalposts over the past 50 years but that Turkey is “doing its homework in all chapters.” “We have restructured our institutions based on these requirements. But then they say ‘Turkey’s population is too big.’ ‘Turkey is a big country.’ But we will continue on our path and let them continue, too,” Erdoğan said.