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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsEconomyErdogan Aide Says Greeks Prefer Turkey, Not EU

Erdogan Aide Says Greeks Prefer Turkey, Not EU

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

After years of pushing its own candidacy for the European Union – stalled partly because it won’t recognize Cyprus, which is aleady a member – Turkey believes that Greeks are so weary of the bloc pushing austerity measures on it that they’d prefer to be part of his country, an advisor to  Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
“If there were a referendum in Greece today, 51 percent of Greeks would vote to exit the EU and join Turkey,” Yigit Bulut said in a televised interview Wednesday, according to a report in Today’s Zaman, an English-language newspaper published in Turkey.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s appointment of Bulut, a columnist and TV commentator, as his chief economic adviser earlier this year stirred controversy in Turkey. Bulut, a former critic of Erdogan, recently claimed that the premier’s enemies are seeking to kill him by telekinisis.
Turkey’s EU membership bid has been virtually frozen for three years, held back by political obstacles and resistance in some European countries, including Germany, France and Austria.
Ankara’s chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis said last month his country would probably never join the EU because of the attitudes of the bloc’s existing members.
Many Greeks are angry that the country’s international lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) have forced the government to impose big pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions in return for $325 billion in two bailouts.
Bulut didn’t mention this summer’s violent crackdown on protesters in Ankara who were trying to prevent the tearing down of trees to put up a shopping mall they said wasn’t needed, nor other repressive policies of the government.

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