In 1987, Turkey applied to join what was then the European Economic Community, and in 1997 it was declared eligible to join the EU.
Turkey's involvement with European integration dates back to 1959 and includes the Ankara Association Agreement (1963) for the progressive establishment of a Customs Union (ultimately set up in 1995).
Accession negotiations started in 2005, but until Turkey agrees to apply the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Association Agreement to Cyprus, eight negotiation chapters will not be opened and no chapter will be provisionally closed.
Turkey is seeing an unprecedented and continuously increasing influx of people seeking refuge from Syria which has exceeded 2.2 million to date. Overall, Turkey is the country in the world hosting the highest number of refugees, and has already spent more than 7 billion EUR of its own resources on addressing this crisis. The Commission has engaged with Turkey to step up their cooperation on support of Syrians under temporary protection and migration management in a coordinated effort to address the crisis created by the situation in Syria. As a result a Joint EU-Turkey Action Plan was agreed in October and was activated at the EU-Turkey Summit on 29 November 2015. The Action Plan aims at bringing order in the migratory flows and stemming the influx of irregular migration.
On 24 November 2015 the Commission adopted a Commission Decision establishing a Turkey Refugee Facility which will pool 3 billion EUR additional resources. This represents a major additional support and the Facility will coordinate and streamline actions financed from the Union's budget and bilateral contributions from EU Member States in order to enhance the efficiency and complementarity of support provided to refugees and host communities in Turkey.
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The EU Delegation in Ankara provides more information on Turkey.