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    Turkey Hopes to Join European Union by 2023 - Envoy to EU

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    Turkish authorities intend to join the European Union by 2023, Turkish Ambassador to the European Union Yenel Selim said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the envoy, the conditions for the EU joining are not the most favorable at the moment, but that can quickly change.

    "Turkish government expects the country to join the EU by 2023. Turkish democracy will be celebrating 100 years that year. European membership would have been a crown jewel for my country," Selim told Die Welt newspaper in an interview.

    Turkey signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963, and submitted a membership application in 1987. Talks about Ankara's membership to the European Union began in 2005. The Cyprus dispute and Turkey's record of denying press freedom are among the major issues obstructing Turkey's accession to the bloc.

    Earlier in August, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern called for the European Union to discuss quitting accession talks with Turkey while some German lawmakers suggested freezing Erdogan's accounts in EU banks in light of his brutal response to a recent coup attempt.

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    European Union, Yenel Selim, Turkey
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