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Embattled Turkey PM faces tough talks with EU

Published on Jan 21, 2014 9:50 PM
 
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) is welcomed by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (second left), European Parliament President Martin Schulz (second right) and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (right) ahead of a EU-Turkey summit at the EU council headquarters in Brussels Jan 21, 2014. Turkey's embattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan began his first visit to Brussels in five years on Tuesday aiming to reboot his country's stuttering bid to embrace the European Union.

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Turkey's embattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan began his first visit to Brussels in five years on Tuesday aiming to reboot his country's stuttering bid to embrace the European Union.

Mr Erdogan's long-awaited high-profile visit to EU headquarters comes as Turkey faces its worst crisis in years amid a graft scandal and subsequent government purge of police and the judiciary, seen by critics as an authoritarian bid to stifle the probe.

Yet on flying in from Ankara late Monday, Turkey's leader of 11 years was greeted by up to 3,000 supporters waving Turkish flags and shouting their backing for his economic and political reforms.

EU officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the talks would touch on Syria, EU relations and a controversial plan to reform Turkey's top judiciary body, but that they had no precise expectations.

 
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