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Turkey warns Germany not to us protests as an excuse to block EU bid

Last modified: 20 Jun 2013 16:52

Turkey warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday not to play politics with its European Union ambitions, and said failure to open a new chapter in accession talks next week would be a major setback in Ankara's relations with the bloc.

Many EU capitals want to take the long-awaited step on Turkey's path towards the EU next week, arguing Europe should capitalise on Ankara's rising influence in the Middle East.

But Germany has criticised Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's heavy handed response to weeks of anti-government protests and appears to be refusing to agree to open a new negotiation area, potentially the first such step in three years.