Turkey hit back on Tuesday at European Union accusations that it has drifted apart from the bloc on foreign policy, saying Ankara had been kept out of decision-making despite making major contributions to EU defense.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday that Turkey, an EU membership candidate, had signed up to less than a third of the bloc’s recent foreign policy positions, compared to some 80 percent in the past.
Speaking during one of the highest-ranking EU visits to Turkey in years, Mogherini said the EU and Ankara need greater “alignment” to tackle threats including Islamic State insurgents who have captured large areas of neighboring Iraq and Syria.
“Turkey makes very important contributions to the EU’s security and defense policies. But until now Turkey was not included in any decision mechanisms related to security and defense,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglusaid on Tuesday.
“This is actually a contradiction of the EU,” he told a news conference with his Georgian counterpart after being asked if there was a problem regarding policy alignment with the bloc.