The Latest: Turkey's Erdogan ramps up anti-Western rhetoric

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2017 6:18 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on talks between Turkish and European Union officials in Brussels Tuesday (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ramped up his anti-Western rhetoric, saying the era of a submissive Turkey bowing to every Western demand is over.

Erdogan's comments comes as top European Union officials hold talks with Turkey's foreign minister in Brussels on Tuesday.

Turkey has been mired in an escalating diplomatic row with Germany following the arrests last week of a group of human rights activists, including a German national, over terror-related charges. Earlier, a German-Turkish journalist was arrested for allegedly spying and aiding Kurdish rebels.

Erdogan said: "the West wants Turkey to bring about their demands no questions asked... I am sorry to say that Turkey no longer exists."

The Turkish leader refused to back down in the feud with Germany, saying his country would continue "to breathe down the neck of agents who run around freely" in Turkey.

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10 a.m.

Top European Union officials are to hold talks with Turkey's foreign minister against a backdrop of growing concern that Ankara is sliding away from EU values as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tightens his grip on power and cracks down on perceived opponents.

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Tuesday's talks come with Turkey's long-standing bid for EU membership in the deep freeze and criticism of Erdogan's authoritarian rule swelling, particularly in powerful EU member state Germany.

Those strained relations will likely cast a shadow over discussions between EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and EU affairs ministers Omer Celik in Brussels.

Discussions are expected to touch on issues including Ankara's EU accession, immigration, Turkey's demands for visa-free travel for its citizens, the fight against terrorism and energy and trade ties.