“Turkey does not need the EU, but the EU needs Turkey. If need be, we know very well how to tell those countries, ‘Buzz off, mate!’ The EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU.” Those sharp words belong to Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bagis. And they were not uttered in a casual chat. The statement was relayed to journalists by Bagis’ press office on June 19 under the title “If need be, we’ll tell EU countries ‘Buzz off, mate!’”
In a second statement that arrived shortly thereafter in my email box, Bagis reminded German Chancellor Angela Merkel of former French president Nicholas Sarkozy’s electoral debacle after she signaled she would block the opening of a new chapter in Turkey’s membership talks.