Erdoğan: I did not want to understand what Macron was trying to say

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French President Emmanuel Macron (L) meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on January 5, 2018, at the Elysee Palace in Paris. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / ludovic MARIN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he did not want to understand what French President Emmanuel Macron tried to say about the future of Turkey’s relations with the European Union, Hürriyet reported on Sunday.

Macron told Erdoğan during a joint press conference in Paris on Friday that there is no chance of progress towards Turkey joining the EU at present. “As far as the relationship with the European Union is concerned, it is clear that recent developments and choices do not allow any progression of the process in which we are engaged,” he said.

The French leader also said there were differences over human rights since Turkey’s purges following a failed coup in 2016.

“I did not want to understand what he [Macron] wanted to say. I preferred to focus on them understanding us. I hope they understood us,” Erdoğan said, responding to questions from reporters while returning from France.

Turkey is “tired” of its EU membership process and cannot request membership in the bloc indefinitely, Erdoğan said in Paris. “We cannot continuously ask the EU, ‘Please take us, too’ now.”

Turkey, which applied for membership in the European Economic Community in 1987, became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005.

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