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Joining EU not the only option of Turkey, EU affairs minister says

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Newly appointed European Union Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik has said joining EU is not the only option that Turkey has, adding that EU has to stop appying “double standarts” in fighting terror.

Minister Çelik spoke during the ceremony organized for him at the ministry building in Ankara, after former EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkır handed over the post to him.

Empasizing that Turkey and EU has an equal relationship, Çelik said: “EU perspective is important for Turkey, but it is not the only option. We will try to raise the standarts of the affairs between Turkey and EU in accordance with the policies pursued by the government, as our [former EU] minister did in his time.”

Çelik also underlined that EU should stop “applying double standarts” in fighting with terror.

Former minister Bozkır also spoke during the event and said that Turkey’s aim will continue to be becoming a full member of the EU as long as there are common interests.

Delivering a closing speech at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an ultimatum to EU on the planned visa-free EU access for Turks, saying “If a result comes out of the talks, that is fine. If not, no offense but the parliament of the Turkish Republic will not pass a decision that paves the way for steps toward the migrant return agreement. They should not impose criteria to us over and over. This is Turkey.”

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