Merkel party underlines opposition to Turkey in EU

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Associated Press

Posted on June 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 23 at 2:03 PM

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc is reiterating its opposition to Turkey joining the European Union in its manifesto for German elections in September — arguing that the country doesn't fulfill the conditions to join.

The program approved Sunday calls for deepening relations between Ankara and the EU and for "close strategic cooperation" on foreign and security policy. But it says the EU would be "overburdened" by Turkey joining.

The language was unveiled as Turkey's government faces international scrutiny for its crackdown on widespread protests, but the stance is also in line with the long-held views of Merkel's party.

The chancellor has in the past talked of seeking a vaguely defined "privileged partnership" with Ankara, but she said Sunday she has dropped that term because "Turkey doesn't want it."

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