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Tensions between France and Turkey make it harder for Turks to enter the European Union

Presidentes Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey) and Emmanuel Macron (France)

In March 2021, the current president of France, Emmanuel Macron, warned against Turkish interference in the French elections of 2022 during an interview for France television channel 5. In the interview, claimed that Turkey disseminated the state's lie policies through the media. In 2018, Macron had already closed the doors of the European Union to the entry of Turkey for the next few years, a process that started some time ago 57 years, and proposed, as an alternative, a partnership. The Turkish Head of State, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, lamented the posture of the Europeans in blocking the entry of their country into the bloc, holding that there is no other country in the same position as Turkey, of suffering retaliation for possible interference, among other reasons.

After the interview, statements were made on behalf of the Turkish government, which ended up disapproving of the French president's claims, considering them “unacceptable and contrary to friendship and alliance between countries”, as expressed by the spokesperson for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Haml Aksoy. Besides that, the Turkish chancellor highlighted that the French program was intentionally organized before the European Union summit, and called for the withdrawal of French accusations about possible Turkish interference in the elections, affirming that you are “alienate communities of foreign origin living in the country [France]”.

Tension between the two countries is intensified when it comes to Turkish culture and religion., because since 2005 it was already possible to evidence the unpopularity of Turkey in the French country, since Turks are not perceived as Europeans. Recently, as a consequence of the geopolitical conflict between them, due to issues in Syria and Libya, o Turkish president Erdogan, expressed that its hope is that “France gets rid of the problem with Macron as soon as possible.”, pointing to Paris's growing provocation against Islam and Muslims. In turn, France argues that Turkey was responsible for actions that do not comply with European guidelines, such as arming forces for Libya and, in relation to refugees, used by the Turks as a means of putting pressure on the EU.

In 2007, with the government of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the European Union was pressured to back down from the negotiations with Turkey, as he saw a currency union with the Turks as a very significant step forward for the country's entry into the bloc, unlike its predecessor. Lastly, the current president of France Macron, clarified that while the Erdogan government restricts human rights, freedom of expression and press, the country's entry process into the EU will not make any progress, short or long term, despite the statement by the Turkish spokesman that they have no plans involving French domestic politics.


GERMAN WAVE. France blocks negotiations on Turkey's entry into the EU. Available in:ça-bloqueia-negociaçÔes-par the-entry-of-turkey-to-eu/a-2635420 . Access in: 10 Apr. 2021.

STATE. France closes the door on Turkey's entry into the EU. Available in:,france-closes-the-door-on-entry- from-turkey-in-eu,70002140032 . Access in: 10 Apr. 2021.

NEWSPAPER. Resistance to Turkish entry into the EU grows. Available in: . Access in: 10 Apr. 2021.

EAST MONITOR. Macron warns Turkey against meddling in France's elections. Available in: are-in-france-elections/ . Access in: 10 Apr. 2021.

WORLD TO THE MINUTE. France asks EU to discuss relationship with Turkey “no taboos”.        Available in: action-with-turkey-without-taboos . Access in: 10 Apr. 2021.

SPUTNIK NEWS. Turkey rejects Macron's accusations of meddling in French elections. Available in: de-macron-on-interference-nas-eleicoes-french / . Access in: 10 Apr. 2021.

TRT. Turkey calls Macron's comments 'unacceptable'. Available in: macron's-as-being-unacceptable-1608321 . Access in: 10 Apr. 2021.

Authors: Luiza Minuci and Patrizia Setton, NENE/ESPM researchers

Center for European Studies and Business
The European Studies and Business Center (NENE) is linked to the Brazilian Center for International Business Studies & Corporate Diplomacy (CBENI) from ESPM-SP. It was created considering the need to stimulate the Brazilian and Latin American academic community to better understand their relations with Europeans, seeking to understand and deepen the Brazil-European Union Strategic Partnership.