Today’s announcement comes despite a souring of relations between Brussels and Ankara, with President Erdogan sparking up several bitter, public rows with member states including Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.
Formal EU accession negotiations started in October 2005 and have repeatedly stalled. The Turkish government has previously expressed its desire to become part of the bloc, though relations have been fraught since Mr Erdogan saw off a failed attempt to unseat him in 2016.
Hundreds were killed in the attempted coup and in the weeks and months that followed, tens of thousands of soldiers, officials and members of the judiciary were locked up.
The EU has expressed grave concerns over Turkey’s human rights record and Mr Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian regime.