Leaders of the European Union (EU) urged Turkey to better observe the EU political criteria in order to join the bloc during talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.
The first visit of Erdogan in five years to the EU headquarters came amid graft scandal of his cabinet, the EU’s doubt of the current state of democracy of the country and the uncertain prospect of the country’s EU membership.
In a joint press conference by Erdogan, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission Jose Manul Barroso, the EU leaders urged him to accept the EU rule of law and the political criteria, including the judiciary independence.
Van Rompuy told reporters that he discussed with the prime minister current developments in Turkey since 17 December, when three Ministers of the Turkey government resigned for taking bribes, which triggered wide protests.
He said that Turkey as a candidate country, should commit itself to respect the political criteria of accession, including the application of the rule of law and separation of powers.