Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that his country has not yet “closed book” with the European Union (EU), but is considering other alternatives after European lawmakers voted lately to freeze talks over Ankara’s accession to the bloc.
“At the moment, we have not yet closed book with EU,” Erdogan said at a meeting in Istanbul. “But the picture ahead us does not allow us to have positive expectation.”
“We could move on in considering one of these alternatives,” he said, without elaborating.
The president recently talked of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a Eurasian political, economic and security organization, as an option for Turkey.
Last Thursday, the European Parliament voted in favor of a non-binding motion on suspending membership talks with Turkey, sparking strong reactions from the country.
Following the vote, Erdogan had threatened to open borders for illegal migrants to flood into Europe.
Turkey has moved to reduce significantly the illegal flow of migrants under a deal reached with the EU in March.
Turkey applied to join the EU in 1987 and started the accession talks in 2005, but the talks have faltered in recent years due to disagreements over issues such as refugees, freedom of press and human rights.