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EU official says Turkish accession process should not be interrupted

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Turkey should remain on track to becoming a member of the European Union, the European Parliament‘s new rapporteur for Turkey, Nacho Amor, said on Friday in Istanbul.

“Turkey is and should remain a candidate country in spite the current difficulties in EU-Turkey relations,” Amor said in a statement as he ended his first official visit to Turkey.

He told the cabinet members and mayors that they needed to communicate more and better to overcome the current lack of trust between Turkey and the EU.

His remarks came amid a visit by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to Istanbul for talks with Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Turkey’s accession talks started in 2005 however, the relations have been rocky following a government crackdown on dissent since a failed coup by a faction of the Turkish military in 2016.

Amor called for judicial and media reforms in Turkey, referring to the aftermath of the putsch attempt as an “exceptional period.”

A gas dispute in the Mediterranean and Ankara’s military offensive in Syria added to tensions over the past year.

Turkey and the EU have had a deal in place since 2016 aimed at preventing the migrant flow into Europe from the civil war in Syria in exchange for EU funding.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Isaac Aregbesola

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