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    Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan attends a Republic Day ceremony at Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk, to mark the republic's anniversary as he is flanked by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (R) in Ankara, Turkey, October 29, 2016.

    EU Report Pushes 'Turkey Into a Corner', Could Not Be Accepted – Ankara

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    Ankara considers the European Commission (EC) report on Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union to be biased and pushing Turkey into a corner, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — On November 9, the EC published the annual Turkey 2016 Report, stressing that Turkey's efforts on achieving compliance with EU legislative standards, necessary for joining the European Union were insufficient. According to the report, Turkey should be devoting more attention to the implementation of the legislation.

    "This report is one-sided, it contains unacceptable wording… We are ready to accept constructive criticism, but reports that drive Turkey into a corner could not be accepted," Kurtulmus said at a press conference in Ankara.

    At the same time, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told journalists on Monday that Turkey is in "a very difficult situation" after a failed coup attempt and it was necessary not to overreact when it comes to EU-Turkish relations.

    "Turkey remains a matter of some concern. It is very important that we should not push Turkey into a corner, we should not overreact in a way that I think is against our collective interest," Johnson said before a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers.

    He added that EU member-states were planning to discuss with Turkey common security policy "to take forward European defense cooperation."

    Turkey signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963, and submitted a membership application in 1987. Talks about Ankara's membership of the European Union began in 2005. Sixteen out of 35 chapters of the accession talks have been opened. The negotiations on Turkish EU membership have been repeatedly suspended due to the Cyprus dispute and Turkey's record of denying press freedom, among other obstacles.

    In mid-March, the European Union agreed to intensify the talks in exchange for Turkish agreement to help reduce the flow of migrants to Europe.

    On July 15, a military coup attempt took place in Turkey. It was suppressed the following day. Over 240 people were killed during the thwarted coup and an estimated 2,000 were wounded. Ankara accused Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup. Gulen himself denounced the rebellion and declared his innocence. Since July Turkey has arrested hundreds of military personnel, activists and journalists on suspicion of links with Gulen.

    On November 3, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that Ankara would scrap the EU-Turkey agreement on the migrant issue if Turkish nationals did not get visa-free access to EU borderless Schengen Area by the end of the year, thus triggering EU states' concerns over the possibility of a new wave of migrants.

    On Saturday, European Parliament President Martin Schulz threatened Turkey with economic sanctions amid the arrests of opposition politicians and journalists in the country.


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