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Turkey’s EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

Turkey would reject any offer of partnership with the EU that falls short of membership, the country’s Minister for EU Affairs,  Omer Celik, said.

Delik also warned that the current situation gave Turkey no reason to maintain its migrant deal with the bloc.

He added that “a privileged partnership or similar approaches, we don’t take any of these seriously. Turkey cannot be offered such a thing.

“Whatever it would be called, a privileged partnership or cooperation against terrorism, such an offer would not even be considered by Turkey.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said two weeks ago that developments in Turkey did not allow for progress in its decades-long push to join the EU.

He said discussions should change focus, mentioning the possibility of a partnership that would fall short of full membership.

The EU expressed concern over Turkey’s crackdown on suspected supporters of a failed 2016 coup, where more than 50,000 people were arrested pending trial and 150,000, including teachers, journalists and judges, were either sacked or suspended from work.

Celik said the EU was not honouring all parts of a deal to stem the flow of migrants westwards from Turkey in return for three billion euros in financial aid to Turkey and other support.

The financial aid was “not working well”, no new chapters had been opened in Turkey’s EU accession efforts and there had been no development on expanding a Turkish-EU customs deal.

“Technically there’s no reason for Turkey to maintain this deal,” Celik said.


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