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EU struggles for common stance over Turkey rights crackdown

European Union foreign ministers are trying to reach a common stance on Turkey over the government crackdown on political opponents and the media.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she and the ministers would strive for "a common, united position on developments in Turkey".

Turkey and the EU have been locked in a war of words over Ankara's commitment to democracy and rule of law in the wake of the failed coup in the country in July.

EU officials say it is time for Ankara to say whether it really wants to join, but Ms Mogherini said the future of membership would not be on the table at Monday's talks in Brussels.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested holding a referendum on the future of the membership bid.

Addressing a group of farmers, Mr Erdogan said: "Let's wait in patience until the end of the year and then go to the people."

He was responding to reports that the European Parliament's president said Turkey could face economic sanctions in response to the country's increased crackdown on opposition voices.

President Erdogan also accused the EU of not keeping its promises and of supporting the outlawed Kurdish militants.



From Belfast Telegraph