Turkey not yet fit for EU, Germany’s federal commissioner for migration, herself of Turkish origin

Aydan Özoğuz

Turkey belongs in the European Union in the long term but not yet, according to Aydan Özoğuz, Germany’s federal commissioner for migration, refugees and integration and the first-ever German minister of Turkish origin.

Speaking to German daily Die Welt, Özoğuz said the recent block of Twitter was an “unthinkable situation” and that recent developments in Turkey were “very unfortunate.” She criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for “moving away” from Europe. Özoğuz is set to accompany German President Joachim Gauck on his visit to Turkey later this month.

Asked whether Turkey “belongs in the EU,” she said that for now it did “not fit” with the EU and added that it was difficult to read which direction Erdoğan was going. However, she added that President Abdullah Gül gave hope with his “different tone.”

In the interview, Özoğuz also claimed that Erdoğan did “not have much influence” on the Turkish community living in Germany.

Last week, the German government signed off on a draft law that will allow young Germans of foreign origin to have dual citizenship, a move that Özoğuz hopes will benefit the country’s large Turkish community. “That’s a great signal for many young people in our country. Hundreds of thousands of them can breathe a sigh of relief,” she said after the law was passed.