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Turkish FM says Turkey wants to become EU member

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said Turkey wants to become a member of the EU following remarks from German leaders who voiced their opposition to Turkey’s EU membership.

Çavuşoğlu, who spoke on Monday during a panel discussion in Slovenia, said, “We want to become a European Union member, this is still our strategy and our choice.”

Responding to recent remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) leader Martin Schulz on Sunday night saying that Turkey should not join the EU, Çavuşoğlu said they should focus on their domestic issues.

“There is a transformation. Unfortunately, the center parties in EU member countries are using the same racist language and discourse. The elections in Germany are held in Germany, not in Turkey or Hungary. It is better if they focus on their own domestic problems.”

Turkey’s European Union Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik said on Monday that any talk of ending his country’s negotiations for EU accession amounts to an “attack on Europe’s founding principles.”

During a television debate with Schulz, her Social Democratic rival in elections later this month, Merkel said, “The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU.”

Schulz said he would stop Turkey’s bid to join the EU if he were to be elected chancellor.

Merkel also added that she would speak with her EU counterparts to see if the EU can end accession talks with Turkey.

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