Jan 19 2018

Turkey rejects alternatives to EU membership – minister

Turkey will reject any arrangement with the European Union that falls short of full membership, Reuters reported, citing Turkish minister for EU affairs Omer Çelik.

The current situation with the EU provides Turkey with no incentive to maintain its refugee deal with the European bloc, Çelik said in an interview with the news wire.

“A privileged partnership or similar approaches, we don’t take any of these seriously. Turkey cannot be offered such a thing,” he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said two weeks ago that discussions with Turkey should change direction and perhaps focus on a partnership that wouldn’t include full membership. Developments in Turkey did not permit progress in accession talks, he said.

Çelik also said the EU wasn’t honouring a deal to provide 3 billion euros in financial aid to help care for immigrants entering Turkey.

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