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Turkey will continue efforts for EU membership 'for a little more time'

Staff Writer |
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey has other plans up its sleeve if the EU membership talks fail.




In an interview with the BBC’s HARDtalk program published on Wednesday, Erdogan said it would even be a relief in case the bloc made it clear that it would not happen.

"We are loyal to our word. 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.

Erdogan underlined that the EU was not "indispensable" for Turkey, which he said "is able to stand on its own two feet" with a per capita income of more than $11,000.

Asked whether he personally believed that Turkey would be better out of the EU, Erdogan said Turkish people’s opinion of the bloc had changed over time.

"The majority of the Turkish people don’t want the EU anymore. They don’t think the EU’s approach to Turkey is sincere," he said.

The president accused the EU of wasting Turkey's time.

"Once upon a time when I was in my first term as prime minister, Turkey was being described as a country which has accomplished a silent revolution during European Union leaders' summits.

"But now the same EU not only doesn't invite us to the leaders' summits any more - they also waste our time. This is the situation right now," he said.

Nonetheless, Turkey will continue its efforts for the EU membership "for a little more time," he added. "We will see what that brings for us."


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