Turkey’s path to membership of the European Union has effectively closed after the increasingly authoritarian prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the country’s first-ever presidential elections.
Officially, Erdogan maintains that he is still committed to E.U. membership and that Turkey’s accession program, which began in 2005, is still active, but his lack of tolerance of dissenting voices, combined with his moves to take control of Turkey’s judiciary and central banks, has alarmed E.U. countries.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is skeptical whether Turkey will ever become a full member of the European Union and Turkey too, appears to have lost interest. Mr. Erdogan, for his part, barely mentioned European Union membership during his campaign, where he appealed mainly to conservative, rural voters.