12:45 GMT +324 January 2018
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    A woman adjusts the Turkish flag next to the European Union flag before the arrival of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (unseen) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels January 15, 2015.

    Turkey Rejects Idea of 'Privileged Partnership' With European Union

    © REUTERS/ Francois Lenoir
    Middle East
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey will not accept the proposal on the privileged partnership with the European Union and does not consent to a "second-class" status in relations with the alliance, Turkish Minister of European Union Affairs Omer Celik said on Saturday.

    On January 5, French President Emmanuel Macron said, following his negotiations with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that Turkey's human rights record as well as the consequences of the attempted coup in the country prevented Ankara from achieving success in the accession talks with Brussels.

    "If we are proposed a 'privileged partnership,' we will reject it without even considering it. Nobody has the right to propose a 'second-class' status in relations with the European Union to Turkey," Celik said as quoted by Turkey's Haberturk TV channel.

    The minister added that the European Union should not consider Turkey as a refugee camp or as military headquarters, the cooperation with which is possible only on the migration issue or on the fight against terrorism.

    Turkey was declared eligible to the EU membership in 1997. In 2005, the European Union and Turkey started the accession negotiations. The preparation of new chapters of Turkey's accession negotiations with the European Union has been suspended in light of the detention of journalists and human rights activists in Turkey amid a wave of arrests that followed failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016.

    Recently, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey didn't need EU membership anymore, noting however that the country would not be "the side which gives up."

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