No Progress Possible On Turkey EU Bid, Says Macron

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.

Ties between Turkey and the European Bloc deteriorated a year ago after authorities in several countries prevented Turkish ministers from holding political rallies to court expatriates' votes in a referendum to expand the president's powers.

"This is seriously exhausting us and seriously exhausting our nation".

High on the agenda will also be Turkey's relations with the European Union, which Ankara has sought to join for the la st 50 years in an epic membership saga that appeared to hit the buffers amid bitter rows in 2017.

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

"The step we will be taking as France, Turkey and Italy on EUROSAM is important, and we will discuss it again today", he said.

During the visit, which was organised to improve relations between France and Turkey, the two leaders also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, fight against terror, and the war in Syria.

OZAN KOSE

Although Turkey is hoping to warm frosty relations with Europe, Erdogan's talks with Macron were overshadowed by difference over Turkey's actions following a failed coup in July 2016, according to France 24.

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

Amnesty International, whose Turkey head Taner Kilic has been jailed, said Macron should "strongly remind (Erdogan) that human rights defenders are not terrorists".

Erdogan made the remarks during his meeting with members of the Movement of the Enterprises of France, a Paris-based federation.

She added that Macron "raised the issue of human rights" but also noted that "he is very pragmatic".

The Turkish government declared a state of emergency and launched a massive crackdown on Gulen's supporters in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

While Erdogan travelled to Paris, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is scheduled to meet with German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel on Saturday.

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