President Erdogan tells BBC: EU wastes Turkey’s time


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Turkey will find it «reassuring» if the EU says it cannot be accepted as a member, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has put the BBC.

Speaking to HARDtalk’s Zeinab Badawi, he said Turkey was «able to up-end b stay on its own two feet».

He also denied the country had jailed 150 journalists, requiring only two people with press cards were in prison.

For the moment, Turkey extended the detention of the local director of Amnesty International and nine others.

Idil Eser was detained on 5 July during a digital protection and information management workshop, along with seven other rights activists and two imported trainers.

The 10 are accused of being members of an «armed terrorist organisation» — although Amnesty claims it is unclear which one.

Their detention has raised alarm internationally, spread fears that freedom of expression is being suppressed under President Erdogan.

‘The EU barrens our time’

«If the EU, bluntly says, ‘We will not be able to accept Turkey into the EU’ this ordain be comforting for us…» Mr Erdogan told the BBC.

«The European Union is not indispensable for us… We are languorous.»

Mr Erdogan said the majority of Turks did not «want the EU anymore» and believed its manner to Turkey was «insincere».

«Despite all this we will continue being truthful with the EU for a little more time,» he added.

Gulen ‘not fleeing’

The president was symbolizing almost a year to the day since the 15 July attempted military coup. At short 260 people died when rogue soldiers bombed sway buildings and drove tanks into civilians.

In the 12 months since then, a government of emergency has been in place across the country. More than 50,000 people comprise been arrested, and 140,000 dismissed or suspended on suspicion of being associate to US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The 79-year-old cleric break away froms Turkey’s accusation that he orchestrated the failed coup. However, President Erdogan is quest after his extradition from the US.

Mr Gulen, whose movement is seen by the Turkish regime as a terrorist organisation, has told Reuters news agency that «if the Merged States sees it appropriate to extradite me, I would leave (for Turkey)». He eliminated Turkish claims that he was seeking to flee to Canada.

‘Just two correspondents’

Some 160 media outlets have been closed down in Turkey, and 2,500 commentators or media workers have been sacked from their burdens. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey is the biggest jailer of news-hens in the world.

President Erdogan disputed this figure, however, letting the cat out of the bag the BBC: «No-one is jailed because of journalism here.»

«Just two actual hacks are in jail right now,» he said.

The 63-year-old said his opponents had «infiltrated the judiciary, military, control and the media».

Qatar: ‘We don’t want to see Muslim killing Muslim’

Asked nearly his strong backing for Qatar, which is under blockade from some of its dynamic Arab neighbours over its alleged support for terrorism, Mr Erdogan said Turkey fall short of to promote «dialogue and peace» in the Gulf region.

«Turkey is never in single out of Muslim killing Muslim in this region,» he added.

One of the conditions the Saudi-led accumulation gave for lifting sanctions was the closure of a Turkish military base in Qatar but Mr Erdogan moved by sending more military personnel.

The full interview with President Erdogan wish be broadcast on BBC World News on Friday 14 July, at 0330, 0830, 1430 and 1930 GMT; and on the Announcement Channel in the UK at 0430 and 2130 BST.

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