Erdogan Says Turkey May Part Ways With the EU. He Implied the Country Could End Its Membership Bid

ISTANBUL (AP) -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey may part ways with the European Union, implying that the country is thinking about ending its bid to join the 27-nation bloc.

"The EU is making efforts to sever ties with Turkey," he told reporters before departing for the 78th U.N. General Assembly in New York.

"We will evaluate the situation, and if needed we will part ways with the EU."

He was responding to a question about a recent report adopted by the European Parliament, which stated "the accession process cannot resume under the current circumstances, and calls on EU to explore 'a parallel and realistic framework' for EU-Türkiye relations."

Turkey applied to join the European Union in 1999, and accession talks began in 2005. Accession negotiations were frozen in 2018 because of "democratic backsliding," according to the European Parliament.

Erdogan's statement on Saturday came more than a week after Turkey's foreign minister affirmed his country's resolve to join the EU and urged the bloc to take courageous steps to advance its bid.