03:51 GMT +315 December 2017
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    Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. (File)

    Turkey Wants to Continue Accession Talks With European Union

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    Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that Ankara is willing to pursue the talks with the European Union on getting full membership in the bloc and renew the Customs Union agreement with Brussels.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ankara is willing to pursue the talks with the European Union on getting full membership in the bloc and renew the Customs Union agreement with Brussels, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

    "Turkey is willing to pursue full membership talks with the EU and renew the Customs Trade [deal]," Yildirim said at a joint press conference on Monday with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov in Ankara as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

    The Turkish minister stressed that the European Union had to "revise its future vision" and then make relevant decisions on the talks with Ankara.

    Yildirim also added that the European Union could not "give a good account of itself" during a constitutional referendum in Turkey on April 16 in terms of bilateral relations between the two sides.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a ceremony in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey March 15, 2017
    © REUTERS/ Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace/Handout
    On May 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara was interested in the continuation of the process of its accession to the EU membership with the mutually beneficial outcome for both sides.

    On April 16, the constitutional referendum took place in Turkey with over 51 percent of voters supporting the proposed amendments that expanded presidential authority over the legislature and the judiciary. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe criticized the referendum as unfair, while a NATO source told Sputnik in April that the referendum was an internal affair of the Turkish nation.

    Ankara signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963, and submitted a membership application in 1987. Talks concerning Turkish membership into the European Union began in 2005. On November 24, European lawmakers voted in favor of freezing EU accession talks with Turkey until it lifted restrictive measures in the country, set in place since a failed coup in July 2016.

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