Erdogan warns to leave EU bloc

Erdogan warns to leave EU bloc

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned the European Union that Ankara would walk away from its long-running membership process if new accession chapters were not opened.

"There is no option other than opening chapters that you have not opened until now. If you open, then great. If you don't open, then goodbye," Erdogan said after rejoining Turkey's ruling party in Ankara.

"Turkey is not their (the EU's) doorman," he added.

The "chapters" are the policy areas that are being addressed in the long-running membership talks.

"First you have to handle these chapters and fulfil your promises. Then we will sit at the table and talk. Otherwise, we have nothing left to discuss with you," Erdogan said.

Sixteen chapters have been opened out of a total of 35 since accession talks began in October 2005, although Turkey's bid to be a part of the bloc dates back to the 1960s.

The latest chapter was opened in June 2016 on financial and budgetary provisions while one chapter (science and research) has been provisionally closed. (APP)