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Merkel reacts to rerun of Istanbul elections

Merkel reacts to rerun of Istanbul elections

German chancellor speaks critical of Turkey’s EU membership but underlines the strategic importance of good ties with Ankara.
16.05.2019 - 09:23

Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined strategic importance of Turkey for Germany Friday, despite persistent political differences between Berlin and Ankara.

“Our political values differ in many areas and yet we have common interests,” Merkel said in an interview with the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

"GERMANY IS SCEPTICAL ABOUT FULL MEMBERSHIP"

Asked about Ankara’s stalled EU membership bid, Merkel expressed ongoing scepticism about a full membership perspective to Turkey.

“The current developments after the local elections do not make it more likely that Turkey will join the European Union,” she said, adding that she has always been sceptical about a full membership perspective, but favored “special relations” between the EU and Turkey.

However, Merkel also supported the continuation of accession talks in an open-ended way, as this was promised to Turkey in 2005, before her Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) came to power in Germany.