Turkey will not accept “privileged partnership” with EU: minister

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Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik reacts during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

ANKARA : Turkish EU Minister Omer Celik said that Turkey will not accept a “privileged partnership” with the EU, state-run Anadolu Agency reported Saturday.

Speaking in an interview with local news channel Haberturk on Friday, Celik said, “If we are offered a privileged partnership, we will not even consider it.”

“No one can offer a second-class status to Turkey in its EU relations,” he stressed.

The minister’s comments came after German politicians recently proposed the “privileged partnership” for Turkey, instead of full EU membership.

Turkey had applied for the EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005.

Ties between Ankara and the EU have been strained since the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. The EU insists on Turkey to change its anti-terror law to benefit a lingering visa-free travel deal.

Ankara has repeatedly criticized the EU’s lack of solidarity with the Turkish people against the failed coup attempt and double standards in fight against terrorism.

Orignally published by NNI