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Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has responded to German Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel saying "Turkey cannot be a member of the EU as long as it is governed by President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan".
Answering the questions of journalists following Friday prayer, Yıldırım said, addressing Gabriel, "He should mind his own business. May he not attempt to bully Turkey. No one can bully Turkey. No one has the right to interfere with Turkey's internal affairs".
In an interview with the newspaper Bild, Gabriel had stated:
"The problem is not about Turkey but Erdoğan's policies. As long as Erdoğan continues to rule, Turkey will never become an EU member. The thing is, Erdoğan also doesn't want to be an EU member.
"It's not because we don't want them but because the Turkish government and Erdoğan are quickly moving away from everything that Europe stands for. Turkey's EU membership doesn't look to be possible under these conditions.
"The accession talks won't be ended by the EU. Turkey will continue to exist after Erdoğan as well". (EKN/TK/LN)