Speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held on Sunday after a meeting focusing on the growing European refugee crisis and security issues, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Germany is ready to restart negotiations for Turkey’s European Union membership.
Merkel said her country wants to speed up the negotiation process by opening new chapters.
"Germany is ready this year to open chapter 17 [on economy and monetary policy], and to make preparations for [chapters] 23 [on judiciary and fundamental rights] and 24 [on justice freedom and security]," she said.
Turkey applied for EU accession in 1987 and the negotiation process began in 2005. So far, it has completed accession talks for 14 out of 35 chapters successfully.
Merkel’s visit came as an EU summit held in Brussels called for the implementation of an action plan with Turkey to stop the refugee flow into Europe.
She has previously stated that Europe’s effort to filter and process refugees would not work without Turkey’s cooperation.
Turkey has spent more than €6.75 billion of its own resources on the refugees whose number has exceeded 2.2 million people. The European Commission said in a statement released on its website that the main objective is to assist Turkey in managing the situation of the massive influx of refugees and prevent uncontrolled refugee from Turkey to the EU.
Turkish media has reported that Erdogan and Davutoglu will particularly share their sensitivities with Merkel on several issues including efforts to strengthen the visa system, the refugee crisis, Syrian political crisis, full membership negotiations with the European Union (EU), and continuity of close cooperation concerning commercial relations.
Media reports have stated that Turkish leaders are particularly concerned about the arming of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) by Western powers and will convey to Merkel the message that the PYD is a “terrorist” organisation that should not receive support.
Turkey considers the PYD as the Syrian branch of the PKK which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, NATO, the EU, and US.
Turkey also expects EU members to extradite PKK members who live in various EU states. Although the EU recognises the PKK as a terrorist organisation, many EU states have been safe havens for PKK terrorists.
Turkey has consistently asked European states to take further measures to both stop the flow of PKK members and their financial resources.