Saturday, June 22, 2024

Key findings of the 2023 Report on Türkiye

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There are serious deficiencies in the functioning of Türkiye’s democratic institutions. Democratic backsliding continued during the reporting period. Structural deficiencies in the presidential system remained in place.

Presidential and parliamentary elections took place on 14 May 2023. A second round of the presidential election was held on 28 May. The elections were held under the new electoral law adopted in March 2022. The elections offered voters a choice between genuine political alternatives and voter participation remained high, but biased media coverage and the lack of a level playing field gave an unjustified advantage to the incumbent.

The constitutional architecture kept powers centralised at the level of the Presidency and does not ensure a sound and effective separation of powers between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The ineffective checks-and-balances mechanism means that the executive branch is democratically accountable only through elections.

Political pluralism continued to be undermined by the targeting of opposition parties and individual members of parliament. The government’s pressure on mayors from opposition parties continued to weaken local democracy. Most regulatory authorities remain directly linked to the Presidency. The recommendations by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission on the presidential system remain unaddressed.

The situation in the south-east region remained a cause for concern, particularly after the earthquakes in February 2023. The Turkish government conducted security and military operations in Iraq and Syria. Border areas faced a security risk with terrorist attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist group by the EU. The government has a legitimate right and a responsibility to fight terrorism, but it is essential that it does so in full compliance with the principles of the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms. Anti-terror measures need to be proportionate. There was no progress in resuming a credible political peace process to resolve the Kurdish issue. Following the earthquakes, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) declared a period of unilateral truce, during the run-up to the May elections, which was terminated in June. Turkish officials linked the PKK-affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG) to an attack in Istanbul in November 2022, but the PKK denied involvement. The EU unambiguously condemned the PKK’s attacks and expressed solidarity with the families of the victims. Türkiye continued to carry out airstrikes against the PKK and affiliated groups in northern Syria and Iraq.

Serious backsliding regarding civil society issues continued. Civil society organisations faced increased pressure and shrinking space to operate, limiting their freedoms of expression, association and assembly. The implementation of the Law on preventing financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction placed further restrictions on civil society organisations. However, despite increasing pressure from the authorities, civil society continued to be vocal and to participate actively in civic life, including by providing support to the people affected by the February 2023 earthquakes.

Civilian oversight of the security forces was not consolidated. The executive branch maintained significant control over the security forces. The civilian component of the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) remained unchanged. The military judicial system’s authority was curbed, with civilian higher courts reviewing appeals against military court decisions. However, effective civilian oversight of the security forces remained incomplete and lacking in effective accountability mechanisms. Strengthening parliamentary oversight of security institutions is necessary.

Türkiye is in between some and moderate level of preparation in the field of public administration reform. It made no progress in this area over the reporting period. There is still a lack of political will to reform the public administration and public financial management. The restructuring of the executive branch and the overhaul of the public administration in line with the presidential system introduced in 2018 resulted in highly centralised policymaking system. The level of accountability of the administration remains insufficient. Its human resources management system needs to be reformed. Politicisation of the public administration has continued. The share of women in managerial posts in the civil service is still low.

Türkiye remains at an early stage of preparation in the area of judiciary. Serious backsliding continued and, despite several judicial reform packages in recent years, the structural deficiencies in the judicial system remained unaddressed. The continued refusal to implement certain rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) remains a matter of concern. There was no progress in eliminating undue influence and pressure by the executive on judges and prosecutors, which negatively affects the independence, impartiality, and quality of the judiciary. Implementation of the 2021 Human Rights Action Plan (HRAP) and the 2019 Judicial Reform Strategy (JRS) continued, but the activities foreseen in these documents fell short of addressing the structural problems and issues identified in the previous reports of the European Commission. The lack of objective, merit-based, uniform, and pre-established criteria for recruiting and promoting judges and prosecutors remains a source of concern.

Türkiye is at an early stage in the fight against corruption. There was no progress in the reporting period. Outstanding deficiencies in key areas of the fight against corruption over the last years remained unaddressed. A fully-fledged corruption prevention policy still remains to be developed, including the relevant institutions, contrary to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, to which Türkiye is party. Legislative gaps still remain in several fields of the fight against corruption. The limitations of the legal framework and the institutional architecture allowed undue influence on the investigation and prosecution phases of corruption cases. The accountability and transparency of public institutions need to be improved. The absence of an anti-corruption strategy and action plan indicates the lack of will to fight decisively against corruption. The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) recommendations remained unimplemented. Overall, corruption remains a problem.

Türkiye has some level of preparation in the fight against organised crime and there was some progress at operational level through participation in an increasing number of joint operations with EU Member States and neighbouring countries. Nevertheless, it is important for Türkiye to further increase its operational willingness to cooperate and exchange information with EU law enforcement partners. The legal framework for the fight against organised crime and police cooperation is only partially aligned with the EU acquis. The completion of an international agreement between the EU and Türkiye on the exchange of personal data between Europol and the Turkish authorities responsible for fighting serious crime and terrorism is still pending, considering also that the Turkish data protection legislation is still not aligned with the EU acquis. The legal framework regulating the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing needs to be improved in line with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Venice Commission on the Law on preventing financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The deterioration of human and fundamental rights continued. The Turkish legal framework includes general guarantees of respect for human and fundamental rights, but the legislation and its implementation need to be brought into line with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) case law. No legislative amendments were adopted to eliminate the remaining elements of the 2016 state of emergency laws.

Türkiye’s refusal to implement certain ECtHR rulings is a source of concern regarding the judiciary’s adherence to international and European standards. Türkiye has not implemented the July 2022 ruling of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, which was issued in the framework of the infringement procedure launched by the Committee of Ministers against Türkiye, that points to a drifting away from the standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms that it has subscribed to as a member of the Council of Europe.

The implementation of the human rights action plan adopted in 2021 continued. However, it did not address critical issues. The overall human rights situation did not improve.

On freedom of expression, the serious backsliding continued. Broad restrictions on the activities of journalists, writers, lawyers, academics, human rights defenders, and critical voices continued to have a negative effect on the exercise of their freedoms. The implementation of the criminal laws relating to national security and anti-terrorism continued to contravene the ECHR and to diverge from ECtHR case law.

The May 2023 election campaign witnessed restrictions on freedom of expression, both private and public media did not ensure editorial independence and impartiality in their coverage of the campaign, detracting from the ability of voters to make an informed choice.

There was no progress in the area of freedom of assembly and association, where legislation and its implementation are not in line with the Turkish Constitution, European standards or the international conventions that Türkiye is party to. There were recurrent bans, disproportionate use of force and interventions around peaceful demonstrations. Demonstrators were subject to investigations, court cases and administrative fines on charges of terrorism-related activities or of violating the Law on demonstrations and marches.

The rights of the most disadvantaged groups and people belonging to minorities need better protection. Roma people are still largely excluded from formal employment and their living conditions deteriorated severely. In January 2023, Türkiye adopted a new Roma strategy covering the period 2023-2030 and an action plan covering the period 2023-2025. The February 2023 earthquakes affected the Roma population disproportionately, and increased the difficulties they faced in the affected areas in terms of living conditions, livelihood and basic needs and health, especially for women and children. Gender-based violence, discrimination and hate speech against minorities and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) persons are still a matter of serious concern.

On migration and asylum policy, Türkiye made some progress. The EU-Turkey Statement remained the main framework for cooperation between the EU and Türkiye. Some progress was made in further strengthening the capacity for surveillance and protection of the land borders with Iran and Iraq. The Commission expects Türkiye to uphold its commitments under the EU-Turkey statement, in line with the European Council conclusions of October 2021, including prevention of irregular migration from land and sea routes, and resuming returns. The return of irregular migrants from the Greek islands under the EU-Turkey Statement remained suspended. The full and effective implementation of the EU-Turkey readmission agreement towards all EU Member States is pending. Political and technical dialogue is ongoing on migration and security. The next EU-Türkiye high level dialogue on migration is scheduled to take place on 23 November 2023. Overall, the number of illegal border crossings between Türkiye and Greece remained significantly lower than it was prior to the adoption of the EU-Turkey Statement. In 2022, the number of irregular migrants arriving increased on most routes by comparison with 2021. In the first half of 2023, the number of irregular arrivals from Türkiye into the EU was lower than in the same period in 2022. Arrivals in Greece increased by 62%, while the sea route to Italy saw a substantial decrease (down by 52%) and the number of arrivals in Cyprus via the Green Line went down significantly by 42%. Türkiye has still not implemented the provisions relating to third-country nationals in the EU-Turkey readmission agreement, which entered into force in October 2017.

Türkiye continued to make significant efforts to host and meet the needs of one of the largest refugee communities in the world. Out of the almost EUR 10 billion in EU support to refugees allocated since 2011, some EUR 7 billion had been disbursed by September 2023. Efficient integration measures are needed to address the prolonged presence of refugees in the country. Access to public health for migrants and refugees should be improved. No outstanding benchmarks under the visa liberalisation roadmap were fulfilled. Türkiye still needs to further align its legislation with the EU acquis on visa policy.

Türkiye is an active and significant actor in the area of foreign policy, which constitutes an important element in the context of the EU-Türkiye relationship. Nevertheless, Türkiye’s unilateral foreign policy remained at odds with the EU’s priorities under the common foreign and security policy (CFSP). Türkiye maintained a very low alignment rate of 10% with the EU stance on foreign and security policy (as of August 2023), compared to 8% in 2022. Its rhetoric in support to terrorist group Hamas following its attacks against Israel on 7 October 2023 is in complete disagreement with the EU approach.

Following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Türkiye condemned the Russian military aggression, including at the UN General Assembly, and engaged politically and diplomatically, including by facilitating the export of Ukrainian grain and the exchange of prisoners. The UN- and Türkiye-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative was terminated by Russia in July 2023. Türkiye also sought to facilitate talks between Ukraine and Russia and to work on de-escalation and bringing about a cease-fire. Nevertheless, Türkiye refrained from aligning itself with the EU’s restrictive measures against Russia. As of March 2023, Türkiye has implemented a ban on exporting to Russia sanctioned goods originating from the EU, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This ban specifically targeted goods that were in transit, stored in warehouses or located within free zones in Türkiye. However, the potential transportation of dual-use and sensitive technology goods, as well as the unrestricted movement of sanctioned goods from Türkiye to Russia still need to be addressed. Overall, Türkiye significantly intensified its trade and economic ties with Russia, and the Turkish economy became more dependent on Russia in crucial sectors, particularly in energy.

Türkiye intensified its ‘regional normalisation’ policy with the Arab states, with Armenia and with Israel. Following the Hamas terrorist group’s attacks against Israel in October 2023, Türkiye refrained from condemning and qualifying them as terrorism and strongly criticised Israel’s response. Türkiye strongly condemned the loss of civilian lives on both sides and proposed to act as a mediator between Israel and Hamas. Türkiye is currently re-evaluating its ties with Israel. On the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), Türkiye’s position aligns with the EU’s position supporting the two-state solution.

Türkiye’s rapprochement with the Syrian regime, brokered by Russia, occurred in spite of the lack of a political resolution to the Syrian conflict and is at odds with the EU’s policy. At the same time, Türkiye shared a common goal with the EU to achieve a stable and prosperous Syria, primarily by implementing UNSCR 2254. Türkiye has a growing presence and geopolitical ambition in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. It also continued its efforts to extend its relations with African, Latin American, and Asian countries. Türkiye’s pragmatic engagement on Afghanistan and its vocal position on the developments in Sudan underscored its ambition to be a key player in the context of major international crises.

Türkiye continued to seek involvement in the common security and defence policy (CSDP) and EU defence initiatives while persisting in its exclusion of a Member State from all possible cooperation with NATO. Türkiye remained actively involved in EU crisis management missions and operations within the framework of the CSDP. In March 2023, the Turkish National Assembly approved Finland’s NATO accession and during the NATO summit in July 2023, the Turkish President pledged to promptly submit Sweden’s accession protocol to the Turkish parliament for ratification. The president submitted the bill for ratification to the Parliament on 23 October 2023.

Regarding good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation, Türkiye continued to refuse to recognise the Republic of Cyprus and repeatedly advocated a two-state solution in Cyprus, contrary to relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. The EU remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework, in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions, in line with the principles on which the EU is founded and the acquis. The EU has called, most recently in the European Council conclusions of June 2023, for the speedy resumption of negotiations and expressed its readiness to play an active role in supporting all stages of the UN-led process with all appropriate means at its disposal. There were no unauthorised drilling activities by Türkiye in the Eastern Mediterranean during the reporting period.

Relations between Türkiye and Greece deteriorated until early 2023. However, following the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye in February 2023, there was a marked improvement in the relations. As of February 2023, violations of Greek airspace diminished drastically, and no flights over Greek inhabited areas were reported.

Pursuing dialogue in good faith and abstaining from unilateral actions which run counter to the EU interests and violate international law and the sovereign rights of EU Member States is an essential requirement to ensure stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship between the EU and Türkiye. Türkiye is expected to unequivocally commit itself to good neighbourly relations, international agreements, and the peaceful settlement of disputes, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, having recourse, if necessary, to the International Court of Justice.

Regarding the economic criteria, the Turkish economy is well advanced but made no progress over the reporting period. Serious concerns persist over the proper functioning of Türkiye’s market economy. There was backsliding on important elements, such as the conduct of monetary policy and the institutional and regulatory environments over most of the reporting period. Since the May parliamentary and presidential elections, the authorities have taken some steps to revert to more stability oriented macroeconomic policies. Although economic growth remained robust in 2022, Türkiye moved further away from market-oriented policies, which weakened its economic fundamentals and increased vulnerabilities and risks. Inflation decreased somewhat but remained very high as monetary policy prioritised exceptionally low interest rates, which remain deeply negative in real terms and are sustained by a web of regulatory and prudential measures. After the presidential and parliamentary elections in spring 2023, monetary policy has started to tighten, also signalling a gradual simplification of the macroprudential framework. The current account deficit increased to 5.4% of GDP in 2022, driven by a negative terms-of-trade shock and large imports of non-monetary gold. The relatively good budget performance in recent years masks an underlying trend of growing fiscal risks. The authorities’ commitment to fiscal discipline wavered, as the fiscal stance turned pro-cyclical in 2023, with earthquake-related expenditure pressure adding to pre-electoral budgetary largesse. However, the fiscal stance was tightened after the elections and a revised budget, including sizeable tax increases, was adopted in July.

The institutional and regulatory environment lacks predictability and transparency and complicates the post-electoral economic policy normalisation. Market exit remains costly and slow. However, Türkiye has made progress in digitalising government services to businesses. Although the size of the informal economy has fallen in recent years, it still accounts for a significant share of economic activity. State intervention in price-setting mechanisms persists. The provision of State aid lacks proper implementation rules, enforcement and transparency. The banking sector remained broadly stable but is facing financial stability challenges due to the numerous overly complex and far-reaching macroprudential and regulatory measures. The labour market strengthened further, although structural challenges remain significant, in particular for youth and female employment. Regional labour market disparities declined and reached one of the lowest levels in years. The recent net minimum wage increases were pro-cyclical.

Türkiye has a good level of preparation and made limited progress in achieving the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the EU. Despite improved vocational training, the mismatch between the education system and labour market needs remains a concern. Expenditure on research and development continued to increase, albeit at a very slow pace, and is still below the government’s target. Investment was relatively subdued in 2022. There was progress in the diversification of energy supplies and the share of energy generated from renewable sources increased significantly. However, the local content requirement in the renewable energy generation sector is a discriminatory practice and a cause for concern. Trade openness increased further, but integration with the EU continued falling, although remaining high. Deviations from Türkiye’s obligations under the EU-Turkey Customs Union continue to hinder bilateral trade.

Türkiye is moderately prepared in the area of public procurement, with significant gaps remaining to align with the EU acquis. There was backsliding in the reporting period as Türkiye increased the use of the negotiated procedure and of discriminatory domestic price advantage practices, and continued to allow offsets that favour local content. Türkiye is moderately prepared on statistics and made some progress, with work continuing to harmonise its statistical methodology with EU standards. The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) improved its compliance with the timeframes for publishing annual national accounts and excessive deficit procedure notifications. It took further steps to improve cooperation with other main data providers. However, Türkiye needs to increase the credibility of TurkStat and public trust in official statistics. Türkiye has a good level of preparation on financial control. It made no progress over the reporting period. The public internal financial control policy paper was not updated. The purpose, authority and responsibility of internal audit are undermined by the lack of a legal requirement to have internal audit units in ministries.

Regarding its ability to assume the obligations of membership, Türkiye has pursued alignment with the EU acquis on a rather ad hoc basis and to a limited degree.

The internal market cluster is key to the good functioning of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and to integrating Türkiye into the EU’s internal market. Türkiye has achieved a good level of preparation for the free movement of goods. However, technical barriers to trade and requirements discriminating against EU products remained in place. Preparations in the areas of freedom of movement for workers, the right of establishment and freedom to provide services are at an early stage, and substantial efforts are still required to align with the acquis. Türkiye is moderately prepared on free movement of capital, as limitations remain on foreign ownership and on capital movement. Türkiye needs to continue to address outstanding issues in its framework regulating the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Türkiye is well advanced in the area of company law but needs to make further progress in aligning with the EU acquis. Türkiye has a good level of preparation in the area of intellectual property law, notably in terms of legislative alignment, but it needs to improve implementation and enforcement. Türkiye has some level of preparation in the area of competition policy. Backsliding was observed as serious concerns persist in relation to the legislative framework, enforcement capacity and transparency in the field of State aid. Türkiye has a good level of preparation in the area of financial services; however the banking sector faced a challenging operating environment in the reporting period. Türkiye has a good level of preparation on consumer and health protection, with limited progress made, notably on strengthening its surveillance system for health (security) services. The capacity of the healthcare system was seriously affected by the February 2023 earthquakes in  south-east Türkiye.

Within the cluster on competitiveness and inclusive growth, Türkiye has some level of preparation in the area of digital transformation and media. Türkiye’s preparations in the area of science and research are well advanced and Türkiye made good progress during the reporting period, notably as a result of joining Horizon Europe and continued efforts to raise awareness of, and capacity for the programme. Türkiye is moderately prepared on education and culture, and continued to make some progress, notably through the continued implementation of the national qualifications system and the increased participation in some EU programmes. Access to education in south-east Türkiye was significantly impacted by the February 2023 earthquakes.

On the economy-related chapters, backsliding continued on economic and monetary policy, where Türkiye has some level of preparation. The Central Bank continued to loosen its unorthodox monetary policy stance, which triggered multi-year high inflation and unhinged inflation expectations. Until the parliamentary and presidential elections in May 2023, the Central Bank was subject to significant political pressure to keep real interest rates deeply negative. Far-reaching prudential and regulatory measures disrupted the functioning of financial markets and increased risks. After the elections, the Central Bank has started to tighten monetary policy and the new government took measures to limit the bulging fiscal deficit. Türkiye is moderately prepared and made limited progress on enterprise and industrial policy. Major challenges in relation to measures incompatible with EU industrial policy principles remain unaddressed. Türkiye has some level of preparation in the area of social policy and employment. The labour market situation improved but concerns remain over trade union rights and effective social dialogue, persistent levels of informal economic activity and the gender gap in employment. The February 2023 earthquakes had a major impact on the labour market in the affected regions.

Türkiye is moderately prepared on taxation. It made no progress during the reporting period and still needs to enable tax information exchange with all EU Member States. Türkiye maintains a good level of preparation for the customs union but made limited progress over the reporting period. However, Türkiye’s deviations from its obligations under the EU-Turkey Customs Union continued, contributing to a number of trade irritants.

Regarding the cluster on the Green Agenda and sustainable connectivity, Türkiye is moderately prepared in transport policy. It made limited progress during the reporting period, mainly linked to the update of the nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement with a specific chapter on transport mitigation policies. Türkiye is moderately prepared in the area of energy and made limited progress overall. Efforts continued on renewable energy deployment, reforms in the natural gas sector and legislative alignment on nuclear safety. Türkiye continues to be an important transit country for the EU but remains reliant on Russia for fossil fuel imports and nuclear energy. Türkiye is well advanced on trans-European networks and made no progress. The trans-Anatolian pipeline continues to operate smoothly and transmit gas to the European section of the Southern Gas Corridor. The construction of the flagship Halkali-Kapikule railway line connecting the EU border to Istanbul continued.

Türkiye has some level of preparation in the area of environment and climate change and made limited progress over the reporting period. On climate change, Türkiye submitted its updated nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement. It faces critical environmental and climate challenges and needs more ambitious and better coordinated environment and climate policies, strategic planning, substantial investment and stronger administrative capacity.

On the cluster covering resources, agriculture and cohesion, Türkiye reached some level of preparation in the area of agriculture and rural development. Backsliding continued during the reporting period, as its agricultural policy keeps moving away from the main principles of the EU common agricultural policy and as Türkiye continued to restrict imports of agricultural products from the EU. Türkiye is a major exporter of food products to the EU and made limited progress in the area of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, where it reached some level of preparation. Full implementation of the EU acquis in this area requires significant further work. Türkiye is moderately prepared in the area of fisheries and aquaculture, and made some progress on fisheries governance, inspection and control.

Türkiye is moderately prepared in the area of regional policy and the coordination of structural instruments and continued to make some progress in accelerating the absorption of IPA II funds and setting up the structures for IPA III funds. Türkiye has some level of preparation in the area of financial and budgetary provisions but made no progress during the reporting period.

In the external relations cluster, Türkiye is moderately prepared in the area of external relations and made no progress over the reporting period. Türkiye has some level of preparation in the area of foreign, security and defence policy, and made no progress overall in the reporting period. Türkiye is a significant actor in the area of foreign policy, which constitutes an important element in the context of the EU-Türkiye relationship. Stepping up efforts to ensure alignment with the EU’s common foreign and security policy would be a significant signal of Türkiye’s commitment to the EU in the new geopolitical context.

Key dates 

September 1959: Turkey applies for associate membership of the European Economic Community (EEC).

September 1963: Signature of the Association Agreement, aiming at enhancing economic cooperation and achieving a Customs Union between Turkey and the EEC.

April 1987: Turkey presents its formal application for membership of the European Economic Community.

January 1995: EU-Turkey Agreement creating a Customs Union.

December 1999: The European Council recognises Turkey as a candidate country.

December 2004: The European Council agrees to start accession negotiations with Turkey.

October 2005: Start of accession negotiations.

December 2013: The EU-Turkey readmission agreement is signed in parallel with the launching of the visa liberalisation dialogue.

November 2015: On the occasion of the EU-Turkey Leaders’ Meeting, both sides agree on the activation of a Joint Action Plan aiming at ending the irregular migration from Türkiye to the EU, in full compliance with EU and international standards.

November 2015: The Facility for Refugees in Turkey is set up, in response to the European Council’s call for significant additional funding to support Syrian refugees in Türkiye, with an initial budget of €3 billion (which was doubled to €6 billion in March 2016). 

March 2016: The EU and Türkiye agree on a joint Statement on the basis of the Joint Action Plan of November 2015.

December 2016: The European Commission adopts a recommendation for opening negotiations with Türkiye on the modernisation of the Customs Union.

June 2018: The General Affairs Council decides that Türkiye’s accession negotiations have effectively come to a standstill and no further chapters can be considered for opening or closing due to Türkiye moving further away from the European Union.

March 2019: The 54th EU-Turkey Association Council takes place in Brussels.

July 2019: In light of the unauthorised drilling activities of Türkiye in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Council decides to suspend the EU-Turkey Association Council as well as the high-level political dialogue and sectoral dialogues on economy, energy and transport.

November 2019: The EU adopts a framework for targeted measures against Türkiye for its illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

March 2021: The EU expresses its readiness to engage with Türkiye in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner to enhance cooperation in a number of areas of common interest.

February 2023: Donors’ Conference for the people in Türkiye and Syria affected by the earthquakes. EU pledges €1 billion for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts.

June 2023: The European Council invites the High Representative and the Commission to submit a report to the European Council on the state of play of EU-Türkiye relations.

For More Information:

Türkiye Report 2023 

2023 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy 

Türkiye 2023 Enlargement Package Factsheet

Press contacts:

Ana PISONERO-HERNANDEZ (+32 2 295 43 20)

Zoï MULETIER (+32 2 299 43 06)

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

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