Turkey gets ‘tired’ of EU membership process: Erdogan
Turkey has got "tired" of its EU membership process and it cannot request for the bloc's membership indefinitely, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
“We cannot continuously ask the EU ‘please take us, too’ now,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community, a precursor to the EU, in 1987.
It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005. To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.
Earlier, Turkey’s undersecretariat for defense industries and Franco-Italian EUROSAM signed an anti-missile defense system agreement.
The Turkish president said that signing of the defense deal was 'very important step'.
He also spoke about activities of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind the defeated coup attempt in 2016 -- in France.
“Sensitivity regarding FETO members is very important,” he said, adding that FETO and PKK members are institutionalizing in the country.
“If sensitivity regarding these remains missing, I believe it will cause problems, tomorrow,” Erdogan said.
He also stressed that Turkey and its friends should jointly fight terrorist groups including Daesh, PYD/YPG and PKK.
Erdogan noted that his French counterpart have shared with him some names of suspects and that he will get those names checked from Turkish Justice Ministry.
Turkey’s defense industry and the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium will work together to determine the mutual needs and priorities as well as analyzing an air defense system using SAMP-T system as a base.
SAMP-T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform) is a long-range, medium altitude air and ballistic missile defense system.
Erdogan was accompanied by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, EU Minister Omer Celik and Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli during his one-day visit to France.
Macron urges open dialogue in Turkey’s EU bid
He said France believes that Turkey's future should be in Europe.
French president also said Turkey and France would continue to fight against terrorism and terror groups such as the PKK and Daesh.
Erdogan arrived in Paris early Friday for a day-long visit.
During his stay, the Turkish president held a private meeting with his French counterpart at the Elysee Palace.
Economic cooperation, bilateral trade, defense industry, counterterrorism and regional issues are being discussed during the two leaders' talks as well as ties between Turkey and France.
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