European summit on Turkish relationship with Turkey postponed until June 2021

BRUSSELS — While several European countries have made moves to normalize relations with Turkey after several years of tensions, despite the lack of real policy changes from Ankara, any moves by the European Union to reengage with Turkey will be gradual, conditional, and reversible according to European Council President Charles Michel.

A European diplomat recently explained that a summit to discussion the relationship with Turkey has been postponed until June.

The participation of U.S. President Joe Biden in the summit opens the possibility of a firm joint message to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

During NATO meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken declared that it is no longer hidden from anyone that the U.S. has disputes with Turkey.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi summarized the European stance, stressing the importance of avoiding initiatives that create division while respecting human rights.

He also considered Erdoğan’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Agreement to Prevent Violence against Women, after talks with Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, as a rejection of European values.

European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell warned that the recent decisions of the Turkish authorities to disband the opposition Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) have increased the European Union’s concerns about the decline of basic human rights and the credibility of Ankara’s commitment to reforms.