Newstalk
Newstalk

21.12 5 Jan 2018


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French President Emmanuel Macron has told his Turkish counterpart that there is currently no chance of Turkey becoming a member of the European Union.

Mr Macron was speaking during a joint news conference with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Paris.

Turkey first submitted its EU - then EEC - accession application in 1987, but the two parties remain divided on several fronts, including human rights issues.

Progress halted in the wake of the failed coup in Turkey in 2016.

The attempted coup prompted a crackdown by Erdogan's government, which has seen the firing of tens of thousands of public servants and the arrests of journalists.

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

In November, the EU Parliament voted to cut funding to Turkey - raising concerns over a "deteriorating situation in relation to democracy, rule of law and human rights".

In comments quoted by AFP, Mr Macron observed: "As for relations with the European Union, it is clear that recent developments and choices do not allow progress in the process.

"I'd be lying if I said we could open new chapters."

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

Mr Erdogan said the EU membership process has been 'exhausting' for Turkey, saying: "Maybe this will force us to take a decision.

"Turkey has been waiting in the EU antechamber for 54 years. When it comes to saying why, the EU is not really capable of giving reasons."


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