Ilhan Tanir, Washington, DCDuring the daily briefing on Thursday, US State Department’s acting and veteran spokesperson Mark Toner, maybe the first time after long decades, demurred when asked whether the US administration still supports Turkey’s EU membership goal.
On Thursday, @WasHatti reminded Toner about the tension between EU and Turkey and asked if the Trump administration still supports Turkey’s full EU membership goals. Toner, who was prepared for the questions, read it: “Turkey is an ally, obviously, a strong partner, certainly, with respect to ISIL, and a friend. We support Turkey’s aspirations to engage with Europe. I’m not going to speak to what is an issue between Turkey and Europe, and the EU, rather, specifically. That’s for them to work out, but as much as Turkey wants to pursue that integration with the Euro-Atlantic community on an economic level, we’d encourage that.”
So, the Trump administration encourages Turkey’s integration with the Euro-Atlantic community on an economic level. No, full membership.
Even though it doesn’t appear on the State Department transcript, the Washington Hatti while Toner in the middle of his sentence asked second time if US supports Turkey’s EU membership. Nothing changed.
At any rate, Turkish President fights with almost every single EU state for one reason or another. His minister being deported or his minister’s landing permit is revoked. Erdogan himself said Turkey will re-evaluate about the membership talks after the referendum.
Under the circumstances, it would have been very difficult to hear from the Trump administration to full support for Turkey’s accession talks at any rate.