Wednesday 26 October 2016

Sarkozy tells Merkel that Turkey joining EU is 'unthinkable'

Dean Grey in Berlin

Published 22/06/2016 | 02:30

Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy

FORMER French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told Angela Merkel that Turkish membership of the EU is "unthinkable".

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Mr Sarkozy met with the German Chancellor in Berlin yesterday.

He told reporters: "Europe needs leadership, Europe needs to take initiatives, Europe needs new ideas."

Yesterday, dozens of Turkish demonstrators protested in Istanbul over the arrests of two journalists and an academic on charges of disseminating "terrorist propaganda".

A Turkish court on Monday ordered the pre-trial arrest of Reporters Without Borders' Turkey representative Erol Onderoglu, journalist Ahmet Nesin and academic Sebnem Korur Fincanci.

The three had participated in a solidarity campaign in support of 'Ozgur Gundem', a pro-Kurdish publication subject to multiple investigations and lawsuits.

The state-run news agency said the three acted as chief editors for a day for the publication and the issues they edited in May and earlier in June included alleged terrorist propaganda.

Anadolu Agency also said the court ordered the suspects' arrest on "strong criminal suspicion."

Press freedom advocates warn that freedom of expression has dramatically declined in Turkey.

Recently, David Cameron claimed that arguments made by the campaign to Leave the EU about Turkey joining the bloc were "simply not true".

The British prime minister said: "I really feel strongly about this, as people are getting through their letterboxes leaflets from Leave saying 'Turkey's going to join the EU' - not true, 'there's going to be a European army with Britain in it' - not true, 'we give £350m (€456m) per week to Brussels' - not true."

Irish Independent

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