Europe

German FM: Turkey 'further away than ever' from joining EU

  • Kurdish women in traditional costumes living in Germany stand together on the square in front of the Old Opera in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Thousands celebrate the Newroz spring festival and protest against Turkish President Erdogan. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    Kurdish women in traditional costumes living in Germany stand together on the square in front of the Old Opera in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Thousands celebrate the Newroz spring festival and protest against Turkish President Erdogan. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kurds living in Germany gather and wave flags with portraits of detained Kurdish PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Thousands celebrate the Newroz spring festival and protest against Turkish President Erdogan. (Boris Roessler/dpa via AP)

    Kurds living in Germany gather and wave flags with portraits of detained Kurdish PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Thousands celebrate the Newroz spring festival and protest against Turkish President Erdogan. (Boris Roessler/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kurds living in Germany gather and wave flags on the square in front of the Old Oprea in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Thousands celebrate the Newroz spring festival and protest against Turkish President Erdogan. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    Kurds living in Germany gather and wave flags on the square in front of the Old Oprea in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Thousands celebrate the Newroz spring festival and protest against Turkish President Erdogan. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's foreign minister says Turkey's chances of joining the European Union are dwindling, but the country might one day hope for a privileged partnership with the bloc.

Sigmar Gabriel told German weekly Der Spiegel in an interview published Saturday that "Turkey is further away than ever before from EU membership."

Gabriel, whose center-left Social Democrats have tended to back Turkish membership in the EU, says he was always skeptical of the idea.

He says upcoming negotiations about the EU's future relationship with Britain might provide a blueprint for Turkey "in the long term."

Relations between Berlin and Ankara have soured recently over a German Parliament resolution labeling the 20th century killing of Armenians as "genocide," Turkey's crackdown on the opposition and civil society and appearances by Turkish officials in Germany.