Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has again accused the European Union of being “insincere” over Turkish accession, claiming they were just “wasting” Turkey’s time.
The Turkish President’s remarks came during an interview with HARDtalk’s Zeinab Badawi, who asked whether Turkey is better in or outside of the EU.
Pointing to the country’s $11,000 per capita income, Mr Erdoğan said: “The European Union is not indispensible for us. Turkey is able to stand on its own two feet.”
He added, “If the EU bluntly says, ‘we will not be able to accept Turkey into the EU, this will be comforting to us. We will then implement our Plan B, and Plan C”.
The full interview will be televised on the BBC on Friday 14 July – the eve of the first anniversary of an attempted coup in Turkey, in which 249 people died. In a bid to weed out the culprits, the Turkish government imposed a state of emergency that has resulted in thousands being suspended or dismissed from the civil service jobs, mass detentions, and the seizure of assets of those accused of coup involvement.
The post-coup actions have been strongly condemned by international leaders, including those in Europe who claimed they were “disproportionate”. These criticisms and more are discussed in HARDtalk.
The full 30-minute interview with President Erdoğan will be broadcast on BBC World News on Friday 14 July, at 03:30, 08:30, 14:30 and 19:30 GMT; and on the News Channel in the UK at 04:30 and 21:30 BST.