Published On: Wed, Sep 6th, 2017

News Scan for Turkey, September 6th, 2017

EU ‘must say clearly’ if it doesn’t want Turkey: President Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the European Union to explicitly say if it does not want Ankara as a full member, describing German politicians’ “anti-Turkey stances” as an implementation of “Nazism and fascism.”

“We want EU bodies and European countries to be sincere and real in their policies on Turkey,” Erdoğan said at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) meeting on Sept. 6.

“Take this decision as soon as possible. If you cannot tolerate the current shape of Turkey’s relationship with the EU, then declare [an end to it] and do it bravely. That will help everyone see your real face,” he added, recalling German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that Berlin will ask other EU leaders to either suspend or end Turkish accession process in October.

Erdoğan also accused the EU of implementing “hypocrisy and political immorality” when it comes to ties with Ankara.

Houses damaged, locals evacuated as major forest fire hits western Turkey

A major blaze hit forests in Muğla’s Menteşe district on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of locals from the area. According to a statement by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, 20 houses were damaged and two people were slightly injured, who are now in stable condition.

The blaze affecting the Yerkesik and Zeytinköy areas is still being fought with four aircraft, 13 helicopters, 126 sprinklers in addition to 650 firemen and other personnel.

Soaring temperatures and fires set off by picnic goers are often blamed for forest fires in Turkey that grew in July but arson attempts are not ruled out in some fires, especially in areas popular among tourists. Kazdağları is a national park drawing nature-loving tourists from all across the country and the world.

‘Turkey will stay in EU Customs Union despite Berlin’

Turkey’s deputy prime for the economy said late Tuesday that Turkey cannot be expelled from the Customs Union even if Germany sought it.

Speaking on state-run channel TRT Haber, Mehmet Şimşek stated that he believes many countries in the EU will act with common sense. “Turkey hasn’t been a burden on anyone so far. Europe’s future without Turkey is unthinkable,” he added.

“I believe a great many sensible leaders will keep this case in their minds and keep off this dangerous path because it would harm everyone. In this scenario everyone loses. Both Turkey and the EU would suffer harm.”

France: Political situation in Turkey hinders possibility of EU talks

MOSCOW — The political situation in Turkey deters the country’s accession process to the European Union, French government spokesman Christophe Castaner said on Tuesday.

“The political situation in Turkey, taking into account our relevant positions, does not allow to consider the possibility of the talks’ promotion, exchange of opinions and expectations related to enhancing integration with Turkey,” Castaner told the France Inter radio broadcaster.

Castaner noted that the dialogue between the bloc and Ankara should be maintained even though the “accession negotiations are suspended.”

Turkish-EU relations became significantly strained after the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey as, from the European Union’s point of view, Ankara continues to violate human rights while persecuting those who are believed to have links with the coup plotters. Brussels has additionally criticized the April referendum that granted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with more powers.

EU presidency warns against hasty decision on Turkey

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, whose country currently holds the rotating six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union, criticized German politicians Wednesday for making EU-Turkey ties a major topic of their political campaign ahead of parliamentary elections on September 24.

In an interview with German public radio Deutschlandfunk, Mikser underlined the strategic importance of Turkey for the EU and urged caution in the heated debate over ending Turkey’s membership talks.

“All decisions about the future of EU-Turkey ties should be considered very carefully, and they should not be taken during election campaigning,” he said.

“Everything regarding the future of our relations should be considered very carefully and in the sense of a strategic partnership,” he added.

Turkey to Start First Foreign Aid Distribution in Myanmar

Turkey said it will start the first foreign deliveries of aid on Wednesday to northwestern Myanmar, where hundreds of people have been killed and nearly 125,000 have fled over the border to Bangladesh in the last 10 days. A spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan, who has described the violence against Rohingya Muslims there as genocide, said the deliveries were approved after Erdogan spoke by phone with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday.

Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said 1,000 tonnes of food, clothes and medicine would be distributed by military helicopters. He said Myanmar had given approval for officials from Turkey’s state aid agency TIKA to enter the country and deliver the assistance, in coordination with local authorities in Rakhine state.

Suu Kyi has faced increasing pressure from countries with Muslim populations to halt the violence against Rohingya Muslims which has prompted their flight to Bangladesh

Turkey Says Merkel Bending to Populism With EU Accession Threat

A top adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed “populist” exchanges during Germany’s election campaign after Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’ll urge European Union leaders to decide whether to suspend or end Turkey’s accession to the bloc.

The Turkish lira and bonds dropped on Tuesday as Merkel told the lower house of parliament in Berlin that she’ll bring up the future of Turkey’s bid to join the EU with fellow leaders in October, raising the prospect of a formal end to Turkish accession. Her comments expanded on remarks she made on Sunday in a televised debate with her main election challenger, Martin Schulz, when both candidates criticized Erdogan.

German politicians are using Turkey as political fodder to win votes in the Sept. 24 federal election, according to Gulnur Aybet, a senior adviser to Erdogan on foreign policy.

compiled by Editor BTT

This is a news-scan from major Turkish papers and internet sites. However, we do not verify above stories neither do we vouch for their accuracy.

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