Erdogan Says Turkey Still Aims for 'Full Membership' of EU

Erdogan Says Turkey Still Aims for 'Full Membership' of EU

Erdogan Says Turkey Still Aims for 'Full Membership' of EU

Erdogan said Turkey would do "what is necessary" if the Iraqi operation failed, raising the prospect of a possible direct Turkish military operation.

His crackdown on the opposition and undermining of Turkey's judiciary following the 2016 attempted coup has seen more than 50,000 arrests including many journalists, academics and opposition politicians, outlawed dozens of civil society groups, newspapers and television stations.

European Council president Donald Tusk told a press conference at the end of the EU-Turkey summit on Monday evening that cooperation with Turkey would continue but problems remain in the strained relationship.

"The dialogue has surely improved and it has benefits for us and the European part", said a source close to the government to Xinhua.

After a tense meeting that accomplished nothing, the European Union and Turkish leaders posed for a silly photo opportunity where they pretended to be friends.

Summarizing the meeting, Tusk said that all issues had been discussed and that EU's concerns had been raised, including the situation in Syria, but that no concrete compromise or solution had been achieved.

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The PKK, which is classified as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union as well as by Turkey, has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state for decades.

"Our meeting today demonstrated that while our relationship is going through hard times, in areas where we do cooperate, we cooperate well", Tusk said. "Only progress on these issues will allow us to improve EU-Turkey relations, including the accession process". The EU has already committed €3 billion to help Turkey manage the refugee influx and another €3 billion is on the way. "It would be a serious mistake for the bloc to push Turkey out of its enlargement politics".

At that meeting in Brussels, leaders condemned what they said were Turkey's illegal actions in a standoff over eastern Mediterranean gas reserves with bloc members Greece and Cyprus.

Iraq's prime minister said on Tuesday that he has ordered the military to take full control of the country's borders amid escalating tensions and Turkish threats of an incursion into Iraq to chase Kurdish rebels.

Emphasizing the utmost care for civilians during the operation, Bozdag said the mine and explosive searches continue to provide security for the civilians in the region. "On sensitive issues such as the struggle against terrorism, we don't expect unnecessary criticism but strong support".

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