Turkey complains over long wait for European Union membership

Recep Tayyip Erdogan le 5 janvier 2018 à l'ElyséeLUDOVIC MARIN

At a testy joint press conference following talks in Paris, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turks were sick of waiting to join the European Union after half a century.

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

Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community, a precursor to the EU, in 1987.

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

French president also said Turkey and France would continue to fight against terrorism and terror groups such as the PKK and Daesh.

The two nations signed defence, banking and commercial deals, including the sale of 25 Airbus A330s to Turkish Airlines.

"There is no obstacle in front of you to benefit from investment incentives", Erdogan said, adding that foreign investors enjoy same rights as Turkish businessmen in Turkey.

The visit to France will be Erdogan's first since the botched July 2016 putsch and one of only a handful to Europe since the attempted army takeover.

OZAN KOSE
Turkey complains over long wait for European Union membership

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

Erdogan said that he believes more French-financed companies can be established in Turkey; the number now totals around 1,500 firms.

About 30 activists from Reporters without Borders held images of jailed journalists outside the Turkish Embassy.

According to the message, such a decision was made in connection with Erdogan's visit to France on January 5.

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

Erdogan also told the news conference he would discuss with Macron subjects such as the status of Jerusalem, Iraq and Libya, as well as the latest developments on the divided island of Cyprus and European Union-related issues.

The Turkish government declared a state of emergency and launched a massive crackdown on Gulen's supporters in the aftermath of the coup attempt. A dozen demonstrators, mainly ethnic Kurds, later tried to reach the presidential Elysee palace, but police pushed them back.

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