TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Turkey will never be a member of the European Union as long as it is governed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday, accusing the Turkish president of failing to take accession talks with the bloc seriously.
His remarks in an interview with mass-selling newspaper Bild are likely to further inflame relations between the two NATO allies after Erdogan urged German Turks to boycott Germany’s main parties in next month’s general election, Reuters reported.
“It is clear that in this state, Turkey will never become a member of the EU,” Gabriel said. “It’s not because we don’t want them but because the Turkish government and Erdogan are moving fast away from everything that Europe stands for.”
EU leaders have been critical of Erdogan’s crackdown on opponents before and after a failed military coup against him in July last year. Accession talks have ground to a virtual halt though Turkey remains a candidate for membership.
Turkey’s Western allies fear that sweeping new powers Erdogan won in a tightly fought referendum in April are pushing Turkey away from democratic values.
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Tasnim News Agency