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EU-Turkey relationship not black and white: EU

EU-Turkey relationship not black and white: EU
Syrian and eastern Mediterranean are not only important issues between bloc and Turkey, says EU foreign policy chief

By Serife Cetin

LUXEMBOURG (AA) - The relationship between Turkey and EU is not black and white but a complex relationship, said the outgoing EU foreign policy chief on Monday.

Federica Mogherini's remarks to a press briefing followed an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting where the EU criticized Turkey’s operation in northern Syria and drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey immediately dismissed the criticisms.

"The situation in Syria and the situation in the eastern Mediterranean does not cover all the fields on which our relationship with Turkey is important," Mogherini said.

She added that there are other issues and areas Turkey and the EU work on, such as people-to-people contacts and energy.

"It is not a relationship that you can define as a black-and-white one. It is a complex, multilayered, multidimensional partnership," she said.

Mogherini said EU has long tried to forge partnerships with Turkey which sometimes worked and sometimes did not.

Both EU and Turkey have lived through dramatic moments that should never be forgotten like the defeated coup Turkey faced in July 2016, she added.

Turkey has long faulted the EU for failing to support Turkey enough in the wake of the coup attempt as well as its refusal to extradite members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the coup.

Turkey has also accused the bloc of double standards and prejudice in stalling Turkey's EU membership bid.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell is due to succeed Mogherini as EU foreign policy chief on Nov. 1.

* Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

source: News Feed
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