Turkey lies on the (mostly) land route between Europe and the Middle East. (Yes, this is the route the Ottomans followed when they conquered the Balkans.) It lies between the Back Sea (think Russia) and the Med and can easily control sea traffic between the two.
Turkey's value has nothing to do with its own politics and everything to do with geopolitics.
Hopefully, they will never gain entry to the EU unless and until they get rid of Erdogan and his Islamofascist rabble-rousers. Like Putin, Erdogan dreams of the lost days of Empire, and that together with the censorship, trampling free speech, and Armenia denial, does not wash at all well with the EU or most of its citizenry.