Erdogan: Era of bowing to Western pressure is over

Turkish president accuses West of manipulating his country, saying he will not back down in feud with Germany.

Turkey Erdogan
Turkey has been mired in a row with Germany [Turkish presidential press service/AFP]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the era of a submissive Turkey bowing to every Western demand is over.

Erdogan’s comments came on Tuesday as top European Union officials held talks with Turkey’s foreign minister in Brussels.

“The West wants Turkey to do, without question, whatever they want … I am sorry to say that Turkey no longer exists,” Erdogan said.

Turkey has been mired in an escalating diplomatic row with Germany after the arrests last week of a group of human rights activists, including a German national, over terror-related charges.

Earlier, a German-Turkish journalist was arrested for allegedly spying and aiding Kurdish rebels.

Erdogan on Tuesday refused to back down in the feud with Germany, saying: “They don’t want us to retaliate while their agents run around freely.”

EU membership

Turkey’s long-standing bid for EU membership remains in the deep freeze and show no signs of thawing.

It applied to join the EU three decades ago, and it started negotiating in 2005. But of the 16 negotiating chapters on issues as varied as capital movement and food safety, only one – science and research – has been provisionally closed.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik met with EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels on Tuesday.

Their meeting agenda included Ankara’s EU accession, immigration, Turkey’s demands for visa-free travel for its citizens, the fight against terrorism and energy and trade ties.

Source: News Agencies