World News

Turkey summit: Erdogan hopes tough period in the past

Turkey summit: Erdogan hopes tough period in the past

It brought together European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a working dinner to discuss "all aspects of current and future EU-Turkey relations". Before arriving in Bulgaria, Mr Erdogan insisted "EU membership remains our strategic goal". Otherwise we wouldn't be partners.

A German national who was trying to cross into Syria from Turkey has been arrested by Turkish authorities over alleged links to Kurdish militants, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

"In terms of concrete solutions, we did not reach a concrete compromise today but I still hope it will be possible in the future", Tusk told a joint news conference.

Mr Erdogan was speaking before departing for the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Varna to attend a likely arduous Turkey-EU summit meeting.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

"We now expect strong support [from the EU] on sensitive issues such as the fight against terrorism instead of rambling and unjust criticism", Mr Erdogan said.

More news: Jurassic World Evolution to release in June, gameplay revealed

"We will absolutely not allow some circles - whose intentions and goals we know inside and out - to block Turkey from being a respectable, equal and deserving full European Union member".

He was referring to a drillship that was prevented in February by Turkish warships ostensibly on sea maneuvers from proceeding to a drilling target between the southeastern shores of Cyprus and Lebanon.

Turkey objects to "unilateral" gas searches by ethnically divided Cyprus' Greek Cypriot-run government without the direct involvement of breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

Erdogan pressed his European leaders to grant Turkish citizens visa liberalization to allow them to travel to certain European countries without visa restrictions.

Separately, 11 PKK terrorists were killed in Turkey's southern Hatay province late Monday, according to a statement issued by the provincial governor's office.