French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that political developments in Turkey were blocking the country’s EU accession bid, suggesting a “partnership” instead of a full membership.
“For relations with the European Union, it is clear that recent developments and choices allow no progress in the process,” Xinhua cited France 24 TV channel which quoted Macron as saying.
“I’d be lying if I said we could open new chapters,” he said at a press conference with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to Turkey’s accession process.
Erdogan, for his part, said his country was sick of waiting to join the European Union after half a century.
“Turkey has been waiting in the EU antechamber for 54 years. When it comes to saying why, the EU is not really capable of giving reasons,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.
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.
Fethullah Gulen, a US-based preacher, is accused by Ankara of orchestrating the coup attempt. At least 250 people were killed and over 2,000 people were injured in the coup attempt.
The Turkish government declared a state of emergency and launched a massive crackdown on Gulen’s supporters in the aftermath of the coup attempt.