ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country has not given up yet on the idea of EU accession but is actively pursuing alternatives.
In televised remarks Tuesday, the Turkish president lamented that the "EU has insisted on hampering full membership negotiations" and insulted Turkey.
"Despite this, we have not — for the time being — closed the EU book," he said.
Erdogan, who has previously suggested Turkey could join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization instead, stressed his country was not without alternatives and had already entered talks with them.
Turkey-EU ties are increasingly strained in the wake of a non-binding vote by European Union legislators to suspend Turkey's accession talks over rights abuses following a failed military coup in July. The EU needs Turkey to stem the flow of refugees from its shores to Europe.