Merkel pledges to end Turkey’s EU talks – By Andrew Rettman BRUSSELS,

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Merkel: “Turkey should not become a member of the EU” (Photo: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann)

German chancellor Angela Merkel has promised to shut down Turkey’s EU accession talks and defended her open-door refugee policy.

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Merkel made the Turkey pledge in a pre-election TV debate with her main rival, former European Parliament head Martin Schulz, on Sunday (3 September).

“The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU,” she said.

“I’ll speak to my [EU] colleagues to see if we can reach a joint position on this so that we can end these accession talks,” she added.

Her surprise remarks, which she made impromptu in a segment on North Korea, represented an on-air U-turn.

Schulz had earlier said he would end the Turkey negotiations.

“If I were chancellor, I’d ask the European Council to end the accession talks with Turkey … We should not allow in a country that is against EU values,” he said.

“The only thing [Turkish president] Erdogan understands is: ‘Now it’s over’. We need to be clear in this: ‘No money to Turkey anymore’ – then he will think carefully about his actions,” he added.