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Turkey to press ahead with EU membership bid


brussels bureau

Turkey to press ahead with EU membership bid

Turkish EU affairs Minister Omer Celik is the first Turkish minister to visit Brussels since the country’s constitutional referendum in April. Celik met with the Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini.

He said it is out of the question for Turkey to break off relations with the EU and that it will press ahead with its membership bid.

EU ties with Turkey have been strained to breaking point by a massive crackdown following a failed July coup against President Erdogan. They were further tested after a divisive referendum last month gave Erdogan sweeping new powers.

Last March, the EU signed an accord with Turkey to speed up the accession talks, along with visa liberalisation and billions in aid. In return Ankara agreed to help halt the flow of migrants coming to Europe.

Erdogan and top Turkish officials have repeatedly threatened to rip up the deal because of the lack of progress in the membership talks.

brussels bureau

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