Turkey Joining EU Unlikely While Erdogan is President says German Commissioner

Guenther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, speaks during the welcome night at the world's biggest computer and software fair CeBit in Hanover, Germany on March 14, 2016. (Photo: Nigel Treblin/Reuters)
Guenther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, speaks during the welcome night at the world's biggest computer and software fair CeBit in Hanover, Germany on March 14, 2016. (Photo: Nigel Treblin/Reuters)

Guenther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society on March 14, 2016. (Photo: Nigel Treblin/Reuters)

BERLIN (Reuters)—Germany’s European Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, told the Bild newspaper on Tuesday that Turkey would probably not join the European Union while Recep Tayyip Erdogan was president.

Turkey began talks about joining the European Union in 2005 but has made little progress. The prospect of the mainly Muslim country becoming an EU member worries many countries and relations have become more strained since a failed coup in July.

“It will probably be an issue for the period after Erdogan,” Oettinger said in an interview with the newspaper.

“Given the current conditions, accession is not realistic until well into the next decade,” he said.

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday he did not see Turkey joining the EU during his own political career, noting that the bloc would not be in a position to accept Turkey even if Ankara met all the entry requirements tomorrow.

In June, German lawmakers voted to recognize the Armenian Genocide, infuriating Turkey, rejecting the view that killings of Christian Armenians by Ottoman forces during World War I amounted to genocide.

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