Political system: Parliamentary republic
Capital city: Ankara
Total area: 783 562 km2
Population: 72 561 312
Currency: Turkish lira
Status of negotiations
1999 - EU Candidate status
Turkey obtained candidate status following the European Council meeting in Helsinki in December 1999.
At its meeting on 16-17 December 2004, the European Council decided that Turkey sufficiently fulfils the criteria to open accession negotiations.
October 2005 - start of accession negotiations
Accession negotiations were launched in an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on 3 October 2005. The Council also agreed on a framework for negotiations with Turkey on 3 October 2005.
On 18 February 2008, the Council adopted the revised Accession Partnership with Turkey.
Association Council meetings
The 53rd EU-Turkey Association Council was held in Brussels on 18 May 2015 to review:
- EU-Turkey relations
- the accession process
- EU-Turkey foreign policy dialogue on several issues of common interest, and more particularly on Syria and Iraq
Re-energising Turkey's accession process
On 29 November 2015, EU heads of state or government held a meeting with Turkey. The meeting marked an important step in developing EU-Turkey relations and contributing to managing the migration crisis.
The EU and Turkey agreed to re-energise Turkey's accession process to the European Union. High-level dialogue between both parties will be reinforced through more frequent and structured meetings including the organisation of summits twice a year. Regular summits will provide a platform to assess the development of Turkey-EU relations and discuss international issues.
On 7 March 2016, EU heads of state or government held a meeting with Turkey to strengthen their cooperation on the migration and refugee crisis.
During the meeting following the European Council on 17-18 March 2016, EU leaders and Turkey agreed to accelerate the fulfilment of the visa liberalisation roadmap, with a view to lifting visa requirements for Turkish citizens by end of June 2016 at the latest, if all benchmarks have been met. They reconfirmed their commitment to re-energise the accession process as set out in the joint statement of 29 November 2015. They agreed, as a next step, to open chapter 33 during the Netherlands presidency.
Accession Conference meetings
The last meeting of the Accession Conference with Turkey at ministerial level was held on 14 December 2015. The conference opened negotiations on chapter 17, on economic and monetary policy.
Fifteen out of 35 chapters have now been opened, one of which has been provisionally closed.