Macron says there is now no chance of Turkey's European Union bid progressing

by Garry Watts January 6, 2018, 0:09
Macron says there is now no chance of Turkey's European Union bid progressing

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara is "tired" of its sluggish European Union membership process, noting that it can not indefinitely be requesting to join the bloc.

However, the French leader also stressed the need for a close relationship between the European Union and Turkey, suggesting a "partnership" instead of full membership.

In his remarks at the joint news conference, Macron said "two-facedness" in Turkey-EU ties should come to an end.

"This is seriously exhausting us and seriously exhausting our nation".

"Turkey has been waiting in the European Union antechamber for 54 years".

Last year, a referendum also granted Mr Erdogan sweeping new powers - further straining his country's relationship with the EU.

Erdogan unleashed a series of insults at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, accusing European officials of racism, harbouring terrorists and behaving like Nazis.

"He [Macron] does not believe that that should necessarily get in the way of Turkey having a good relationship with France, and Turkey cooperating on issues such as controlling undocumented migration to Europe and the fight against terrorism, '" said Butler.

France and Turkish officials also signed defence, banking and commercial deals, including the planned sale of 25 Airbus A330s to Turkish Airlines.

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Erdogan's visit to France was his first since the failed coup attempt, and one of only a handful to Europe.

About 50,000 people have been arrested and 110,000 others removed from public sector jobs in Turkey.

Amnesty International, whose Turkey head Taner Kilic has been jailed, said Macron should "strongly remind (Erdogan) that human rights defenders are not terrorists".

A dozen demonstrators, mainly ethnic Kurds, later tried to reach the Elysee Palace, but police pushed them back onto a side street.

Erdogan was accompanied by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, EU Minister Omer Celik and Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli during his one-day visit to France.

In a statement the Communist Party said: "The French judicial system had pointed out Turkish secret services" involvement in this crime'.

She added that Macron "raised the issue of human rights" but also noted that "he is very pragmatic".

According to the P24 press freedom group, there are 170 journalists behind bars in Turkey, most of whom were arrested under the state of emergency in place since the July 2016 coup attempt.

Macron added: 'We will find concrete and real solutions that will allow the few cases to be settled, and to settle what has sometimes been a misunderstanding, a harmful misunderstanding'.


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