Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Erdogan in Paris to calm tensions with Europe

Erdogan in Paris to calm tensions with Europe

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.

The two leaders began by emphasising their excellent relations on trade, which they would like to increase from €13.4 billion to €20 billion annually. "We can achieve it", Erdoğan said.

Erdogan objected, saying that Turkey's accession process dates back to 1963.

Turkey's state-run news agency says warrants have been issued for the detention of 70 military officers suspected of links to a network led by US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen. However, he hailed EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's efforts to engage with Turkey on all these issues. It would be hypocritical to pretend new chapters in the accession talks could be opened, he said. He told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Friday that Ankara is "tired" of its sluggish European Union membership process for 54 years. "The EU is not able to provide us with any reason [for this wait]".

Still, the European Union and Turkey are North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners.

Turkey is now blocked on 35 "chapters", or policy areas, of the negotiations, he added. His nation was "seriously fatigued" by the process, he added.

Turkey took a step on Friday towards closer defence cooperation with France and Italy with a contract for a study into the development and production of a long-range air and missile defence system, APA reports quoting Reuters. The PKK is recognized as a terror organization by the U.S., EU, and U.K. Ankara also considers YPG to be a terrorist organization, but the U.S. and EU do not. "It's sad that the president did not mention the murder of my sister... it seems that we are hiding things and France doesn't want to divulge information to preserve its interests", Ali Dogan, Fidan's brother, said. "I will do so in context of respect, but with desire to defend, at same time, our values and our interests", said French president, who managed last summer directly with Erdogan to release two French journalists detained in Turkey, Mathias Depardon and Loup Bureau, detained for more than seven months on charges of terrorism.

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Erdoğan, meanwhile, said terrorism "does not create itself" and claimed that "columnists and opinion leaders are the gardeners of terrorism", calling for a joint struggle.

He continued: "The bilateral accords between us are losing their validity".

Meanwhile, Erdoğan on January 5 called on French businesses in Paris to take part in Turkey's economic growth.

Erdogan made the remarks during his meeting with members of the Movement of the Enterprises of France, a Paris-based federation.

"You are a journalist, right?"

The coup, which has been blamed on preacher Fethullah Gülen and his followers in Turkey, inaugurated a period of repression under the emergency law which drew harsh criticisms from Europe against Turkey. In this area, numerous agreements were signed to further strengthen the ties, they reported.

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