Turkey's president calls for transformation of EU-Turkish relations
Turkey is ready to set a "positive agenda" with the EU, using a long-term perspective to help get relations with the bloc back on track, the Turkish president said on Tuesday.
Meeting with the ambassadors of EU member states, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he expects the envoys to support "turning a new page" in Turkish-EU relations.
"It is in our hands to successfully transform EU-Turkish relations in 2021," he told the gathering at the official Cankaya Palace in the capital Ankara.
Erdogan also reiterated the need for the EU to tackle the menace of anti-Muslim prejudice in their countries, saying: "In addition to threatening the security of nearly 6 million people living in Europe, Islamophobia is turning into a big black hole in terms of European values."
The gathering with the president followed a similar meeting Tuesday between Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, with the EU ambassadors.
After a year of ups and downs, Turkish leaders have said they hope for progress in ties with the EU this year, and expect the bloc to take clear steps towards this end.
Turkey has been an official candidate for EU membership since 2005, but progress towards its accession has been stalled for years.