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DIPLOMACY >It will be ‘comforting’ if EU says Turkey cannot be accepted as member: Erdoğan tells BBC

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It will be “comforting” for Turkey if the EU says frankly that it cannot accept the country as a member, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

Speaking in an interview with the BBC, Erdoğan said Ankara would “initiate alternative plans” if its EU bid fails.

“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,” he said.

“The European Union is not indispensable for us ... We are relaxed,” he added.

Erdoğan also accused Brussels of “wasting Turkey’s time.”

“Once upon a time, when I was in my first term as prime minister, Turkey was described as a country that had accomplished a silent revolution during European Union leaders’ summits. But now the same EU not only doesn’t invite us to the leaders’ summits, it also wastes our time. That is the situation right now,” he said.

Erdoğan said the majority of Turks “don’t want the EU anymore” and believe its approach to Turkey is “insincere.”

“But despite all this, we will continue being sincere with the EU for a little more time,” he added.

The interview is due to be broadcast on the BBC’s “HARDTalk” program on July 14.

July/12/2017

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