Talks on Turkey’s membership of the European Union (EU) are set to recommence just days after Britain votes on its membership of the block.
The revelation, made by inside sources speaking to AFP, comes after Prime Minister David Cameron promised Turkey could not join “until the year 3,000”.
The Prime Minister said last month that it would be “literally decades before this even had a prospect of happening,” and said, “the Leave campaign are making a very misleading claim” about its impending membership.
However, the EU source, who asked not to be named, said that EU member states will meet on the 30th of June to agree to open a new negotiating chapter with Turkey.
Turkey is currently ruled by an Islamist president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has banned gay pride events, imprisoned more journalists than any nation on earth, and refuses to recognise the Armenian genocide.
He has promised, more than once, to “flood” Europe with migrants unless his demands are met.
Despite the sudden change of heart during the referendum campaign, Mr. Cameron has consistently said he is a keen supporter of Turkey’s rapid succession to the EU, since the very beginning of his premiership.
Chief adviser to the Turkish government, Ilnur Chevik, was on Newsnight just last night, where he said: “We are really, really flabbergasted, let’s put it that way.
“We thought Mr. Cameron was our chief supporter for our quest for European Union membership. Turks thought that the British were the driving force behind our EU membership and that they were supporting us right to the hilt.”
During the campaign, Michael Gove has estimated that Turkey will join by 2020. He also slammed plans to grant visa-free travel to 77 million Turks, and said:
“How can it possibly be sensible to allow Turkey, in its current straits, and with Islamic State on its border, to become a full member of the EU?”
Neil Kinnock, former leader of the Labour Party, said “Michael Gove’s hypocrisy is staggering,” and claimed that “these figures are nonsense because accession of these countries is not remotely on the cards”.
Labour’s Trevor Phillips said he was “trying to stoke the fires of prejudice” and the shadow justice secretary, Lord Falconer, said: “It is dangerous and inflames racism to imply many of the Turks who are coming may be criminals with guns”.
Even if Turkey does not join the EU, which it first applied to do so in the 1980s, its citizens have already been promised free movement within the Schengen zone by the EU, in return for Turkey controlling the flow of illegal migrants into Greece.
At the beginning of last month, EU officials promised to force through the open border policy by the end of June, despite objections from numerous member states.