Poland gives Erodgan support on Turkey's EU bid

Warsaw (AFP) –


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Tuesday with his Polish counterpart in Warsaw, his first official bilateral visit to an EU country since the failed 2016 coup in Turkey.

Although Erdogan visited Belgium in May for a NATO meeting and Hamburg for a G20 summit in July, Poland was the first EU country to invite him since Ankara's massive crackdown on alleged coup plotters.

EU powerhouse Germany has criticised the measures as excessive and has hindered Turkey's bid to join the bloc.

But Erodgan found a friendly voice in Warsaw.

"Poland supports Turkey's aspiration to join the European Union," said Polish President Andrzej Duda, appearing with Erdogan before journalists.

Accession talks between Brussels and Ankara have essentially stopped.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently called for a halt to negotiations but most of the other EU nations want to keep a fragile line open.

Erdogan said if the EU thinks "the accession of Turkey is not possible, then it should finally tell us so."

The Turkish and Polish leaders also discussed defence cooperation through NATO, and the issue of energy as both countries count on coal for part of their energy needs.