Turkish authorities intend to join the European Union by 2023, Turkish Ambassador to the European Union Yenel Selim said Friday.
"Turkish government expects the country to join EU by 2023. Turkish democracy will be celebrating 100 years that year. European membership will be a crown jewel for my country, "- Selim told Die Welt newspaper in an interview.
He also underlined that Turkey expects the lifting of visa regime with EU in 2016, "but 2017 would be inappropriate time-limit". He also noted that the negotiations between Turkey and EU are pending in due course, despite of the troubles with a coup d'etat.
As well, the Sputnik, Moscow's information agency comments that, according to the envoy, the conditions for the EU joining are not the most favorable at the moment, but that can quickly change.
For your notice, Turkey signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963, and submitted a membership application in 1987. Talks about Ankara's membership to the European Union began in 2005. The Cyprus dispute and Turkey's record of denying press freedom are among the major issues obstructing Turkey's accession to the bloc.
Earlier in August, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern called for the European Union to discuss quitting accession talks with Turkey while some German lawmakers suggested freezing Erdogan's accounts in EU banks in light of his brutal response to a recent coup attempt.