Bulgaria plots to help Turkey join the EU in defiant stand against Brussels


Merkel and ErdoganGETTY

Angela Merkel and Recep Erdogan secure had a difficult relationship in the past

Ivan Sirakov, Bulgaria’s ambassador to Austria, put the country on a collision course with the EU as he said stopping the talks is “not in the EU’s interest” but Turkey “be obliged be open and honest”.

Mr Sirakov used his speech in Vienna to assure Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo that “Europe would not be achieve without them”.

He said: “The Western Balkans are very important for the assurance and wellbeing of Europe.”

Mr Sirakov added “we need Turkey for this change”.

Talks between the EU and Turkey are expected to pick up impulse this year following months of little progress amid the rover crisis, attempted military coup and clashes over Ankara’s individual rights record. 

Farouk Kaymakci, Turkey’s permanent representative to the EU, required: “A summit between the EU and Turkey in June ahead of the EU summit is under solicitude.

“There are expectations in this direction.”

The talks would come undeterred by Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan restricting free speech by jailing respected newspapermen who have criticised him.

Merkel ErdoganGETTY

Erdogan has referred to Merkel’s behaviour as “Nazism” in the former times

His policy extends to the internet with thousands of Twitter accounts and websites partake of been shut down by the government.

Mr Erdogan has also cracked down on the chairwomen and MPs of the pro-Kurdish opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

The Turkish government has jugged elected HDP members of parliament. 

Relations between Turkey and the bloc soured yet last year, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated she would encourage EU leaders to reconsider the accession talks if re-elected.

Mr Erdogan said in retort: “What happened is Nazism. What happened is fascism.

“I’m not saying you are a Nazi, you are fascist. I am however defining what happened.”

EU leaders are expected to meet on June 28 – 29 and inflating the bloc will be one of the main items on the agenda.

Senior officials and cabinet officers from candidate countries will be coming together in Bulgaria as it keeps the bloc’s six-month rotating presidency.

Bulgaria’s foreign minister Ekaterina Zakharieva has put into worded hope that relations between Turkey and the EU will improve.

She explained: “Neither the successful protection of the EU’s external borders nor the fight against terrorism can be succeeded without a buddy-buddy partnership with Turkey.”

(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.)

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