Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the European Parliament on 21 January to discuss Turkey’s ongoing negotiations for EU membership. EP President Martin Schulz and the group leaders questioned him on topics such as the rule of law, freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary. However, they also praised his country for the way it has taken in 700,000 Syrian refugees.
Both Schulz and Erdoğan referred to the discussion as “lively” during the press conference afterwards. The EP president said: “Turkey is a key partner for the European Union. If Turkey wasn’t so important, then we would not the intense discussion we had today.” The Turkish Prime Minister said: “For the last 10 years Turkey has come a long way in terms of its economic development and has taken very significant steps forward.”