Turkish premier slams Danish PM over remarks on Erdogan

EU is trying to keep Turkey out of the bloc, Yildirim says

Turkish premier slams Danish PM over remarks on Erdogan Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim makes a speech during a meeting with representatives of NGOs in Elazig, Turkey on October 21, 2017. ( Ali Balıkçı - Anadolu Agency )

ELAZIG, Turkey

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday slammed his Danish counterpart over his recent remarks on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey's EU bid.

"Who are you to talk about Turkey and its president?” Yildirim said during a speech at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s local congress in the eastern province of Elazig.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Thursday that Turkey did not belong to the EU under Erdogan's leadership.

Yıldırım said EU should mind its own future and decide on its vision, rather than talk about Turkey.

He added that the bloc was constantly trying to create hurdles for Turkey's membership.

"Tell us what your real intention is, don’t waste our time," he said, adding Turkey was committed to its EU membership bid.

"What matters is the direction the EU will take. Will it take a step towards uniting civilizations, or will it continue on its own narrow path?" he asked.

The prime minister stressed that Turkey was in the heart of both Europe and Asia, geographically, and culturally.

"Our future is there [in Europe and Asia] too. Nobody has the right to question whether Turkey is a part of Europe or Asia," he said, adding the EU was trying to "keep Turkey out for a long time".

"The fact that our President is standing tall, and Turkey is making its own decisions and continuing to develop steadily despite their efforts to undermine it, is making them uncomfortable," he said.

Reporting by Ilkay Guder; Writing by Sorwar Alam;

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