President Erdogan says EU wastes Turkey’s time
Turkey will find it comforting if the EU says it cannot be accepted as a member, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Speaking to a program, he said Turkey was able to stand on its own two feet.
He also denied that the country has jailed 150 journalists, saying only two people with press cards were in prison.
His claim came as Turkey extended the detention of the local director of Amnesty International and nine others.
Idil Eser was detained on 5 July during a digital security and information management workshop, along with seven other rights activists and two foreign trainers.
The 10 are accused of being members of an “armed terrorist organisation”- although Amnesty says it is unclear which one.
Their detention has raised alarm internationally, increasing fears that freedom of expression is being suppressed under President Erdogan.
This concern has bedevilled the country’s bid for EU membership, while the president has accused the bloc of wasting Turkey’s time.
“We are loyal to our word,” he said in a program. If the EU, bluntly says, We will not be able to accept Turkey into the EU this will be comforting for us. We will then initiate our plan B, and C.
The European Union is not indispensable for us… We are relaxed.
Once upon a time when I was in my first term as prime minister, Turkey was being described as a country which has accomplished a silent revolution during European Union leaders summits. But now the same EU not only doesn’t invite us to the leaders summits any more – they also waste our time. This is the situation right now.
Mr Erdogan said the majority of Turks don’t want the EU anymore and believe its approach to Turkey is “insincere”.
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