Global

Erdogan Says Turkey Still Aims for 'Full Membership' of EU

Erdogan Says Turkey Still Aims for 'Full Membership' of EU

Erdoğan, who had come the Bulgarian Black Sea city demanding a resumption of talks on his country's European Union accession process, told the news conference: "It would be a grave mistake for Europe, which claims to be a global force, to push Turkey out of its expansion policy".

Speaking at a joint news conference after Turkey-EU summit in Bulgarian city of Varna, he said our operations against terrorism not only to contribute to the security of ourselves and the Syrians but also to the security of Europe.

EU and Turkey leaders met in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort with participation of Bulgarian Prime Minister and chairman of the EU, Boyko Borissov, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey is not planning to act against Russia, the deputy premier and government spokesman said on Monday after the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats across Europe and in the U.S as part of a coordinated response to the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in the United Kingdom.

"We share strategic geopolitical goals with Turkey".

Despite criticism from European governments of what many view as Erdogan's growing authoritarianism, EU leaders left the door open to Turkey's stalled bid for membership to the bloc, but said only he could act to remove the obstacles to accession.

Juncker and Erdogan however disagreed over the issue of the three billion euros that Brussels agreed to pay to Ankara for humanitarian activities in the Turkish refugee camps.

Tusk also made a point of saying that "while our relationship is going through hard times, in areas where we do cooperate, we cooperate well", and Brussels is not about to underestimate Turkey's potential importance in helping to stem the turmoil spreading across the Middle East and in addressing geopolitical difficulties posed in relations with Russian Federation and Iran.

During a visit by Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this year Ankara should settle instead for a looser "partnership", after suggesting no progress was possible. They are demanding equal rights and Kurdish autonomy in Turkey.

He also called on Brussels to update the customs union, which governs Turkey's trade with the bloc, its biggest export market.

Juncker insisted that he was not in favour of stopping negotiations with Turkey but urged Ankara to improve relations with member states like Cyprus and Greece.

Turkish President Tayipp Erdogan said Turkey would do "what is necessary" if the Iraqi operation failed.

But Turkey said the pair have since testified that they tracked footsteps in the snow into Turkish territory and meant to send photos taken on their mobile phones to their superiors.


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