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EU says up to Turkey to clarify stance on membership talks

Associated Press logo Associated Press 26/04/2017
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 4th left, accompanied by, from left to right, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Ismail Kahraman, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Turkish Constitutional Court Chairman Zuhtu Arslan and Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, Hulusi Akar, sing the national anthem as they attend a ceremony, part of the 55th anniversary of the founding of Turkey's Constitutional Court, in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Legislators representing Europe's top human rights body, the Strasbourg-France-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on Tuesday voted in favour of re-opening monitoring procedures in Turkey in a move that reflects its strong concern over the functioning of democratic institutions in the country. (Press Presidency Press Service, Pool Photo via AP) © The Associated Press Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 4th left, accompanied by, from left to right, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Ismail Kahraman, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Turkish Constitutional Court Chairman Zuhtu Arslan and Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, Hulusi Akar, sing the national anthem as they attend a ceremony, part of the 55th anniversary of the founding of Turkey's Constitutional Court, in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Legislators representing Europe's top human rights body, the Strasbourg-France-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on Tuesday voted in favour of re-opening monitoring procedures in Turkey in a move that reflects its strong concern over the functioning of democratic institutions in the country. (Press Presidency Press Service, Pool Photo via AP)

BRUSSELS — The European Union says the referendum in Turkey two weeks ago has raised "serious concerns" within the bloc on the democratic standards in Ankara and said it was up to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to clarify his position whether Turkey still wants to become an EU member.

EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday that despite the rift between the two, cooperation on issues like refugees and migrants remained necessary.

Dombrovskis said that "we have serious concerns but at the same time there are a number of areas where we must work together. It is up for Turkey to clarify its intentions toward EU and as regards the accession process."

Membership talks have been at a near standstill for years amid increasing questions whether Erdogan wanted to stop it.

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