Erdoğan: Turkey no longer needs European Union

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) arrives to address to the Turkish members of the parliament during the opening of the third legislative session of the 26th term at the Turkish National Assembly (TBMM) in Ankara, Turkey on October 1, 2017. Kayhan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

Turkey no longer needs the European Union, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday, the T24 news website reported.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new legislative year, Erdoğan said, “EU member states are among the countries that disappoint us the most.”

Erdoğan also stated, “We are very disturbed by those who openly hinder Turkey’s EU accession and at the same time take a tolerant stance towards terrorist organizations.”

He added, “Today, Europe is a place where terrorists freely operate and plot all sorts of operations against Turkey’s legitimate government.”

Turkey has been criticized by Germany and several other EU members for Erdoğan’s crackdown on opponents, including journalists and human rights defenders, in the wake of a botched coup attempt last year.

Erdoğan increased his presidential powers after a referendum in April, claiming that it was necessary to protect Turkey’s security from its domestic and foreign enemies.

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