TURKEY

It is up to EU, not Turkey, to resume or end accession talks, Erdoğan says

IT IS UP TO EU, NOT TURKEY, TO RESUME OR END ACCESSION TALKS, ERDOĞAN SAYS

Turkey has not given up on its strategic goals of EU membership, which is an official government policy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday, while slamming the attitude of German politicians regarding Turkey and its government.

In a speech addressing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) provincial chairmen, Erdoğan said that the EU countries were forcing Turkey to terminate the accession process instead of declaring their true intentions, a stance he described as "immoral."

Erdoğan's words came in the midst of a heated diplomatic spat with Germany. During Sunday's televised election debate, German Chancellor Angela Merkel of center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and her election rival Martin Schulz of center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) declared that they will push the EU leaders either to halt and end Turkey's accession process.

"We want EU institutions and European countries to be realistic and sincere in their policies regarding Turkey. They say that they are against Turkey's membership, they will apply after the elections and prevent it, and so on. Now voices are emerging in the EU, which say, "It is the union that is determinant, not Germany, thus this decision will be taken altogether.' Congratulations, take this decision as soon as possible," Erdoğan said.

"It is up to the EU now to either pave the way full membership and carry out their liabilities on preventing irregular migration; or end the whole process," he added.

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