No Progress Possible On Turkey EU Bid, Says Macron

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron upon his arrival at the Elysee Palace for a meeting in Paris France 05 January 2018. Erdogan is in Paris for a one-day visit for bilateral talks. EPA  ETIENNE

No Progress Possible On Turkey EU Bid, Says Macron

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara is "tired" of its sluggish European Union membership process, noting that it can not indefinitely be requesting to join the bloc.

"We should. see if we can not rethink this relationship, not in the framework of the (EU) integration process, but perhaps a cooperation, a partnership", he said, adding the main goal must be to keep Turkey - a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member - "anchored" in Europe and its "future. built looking toward Europe and with Europe".

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that political developments in Turkey were effectively blocking its European Union accession bid, suggesting a "partnership" instead of full membership.

"I hope we can take up a peaceful dialogue that would allow us to build a relationship which is essential in my eyes, both for ourselves and for the region", Macron added.

During the exchange, the authoritarian Turkish leader, who ordered the arrest of up 55,000 security force members, judges, academics, journalists and activists in the wake of the 2016 failed coup, said his country was "exhausted" after 54 years in the "antichambre" of the EU.

The government has said the purges and detentions are aimed at removing from state institutions and other parts of society the supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based, self-exiled religious leader blamed by Ankara for the attempted coup.

"Democracies must fully respect the rule of law", Macron warned Erdogan.

The Turkish president was less bombastic, but just as emphatic, on Friday while discussing his country's decades-long pursuit of Europe's acceptance.

'We have been seriously exhausted, my nation, too'.

Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community, a precursor to the EU, in 1987.

Turkey is now blocked on 35 "chapters", or policy areas, of the negotiations, he added.

In his remarks at the joint news conference, Macron said "two-facedness" in Turkey-EU ties should come to an end.

Al Jazeera's Natacha Butler, reporting from Paris, said that "there was a real focus on Turkey's relationship with the European Union, because it really has deteriorated over the past two years".

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