Turkey’s EU minister warned Friday that Europe was building walls instead of setting up bridges over crises. “The rising far-right movement in Europe is ideologically creating brand-new Berlin walls within the European continent,” Omer Celik told reporters at the Turkish embassy in Paris. Celik said that the only way out was for Europe to turn crises into opportunities as it did in past, referring to the refugee crisis, adding that the EU had failed to strengthen its enlargement policy and negotiation grounds with Turkey. “Because of their undermining approach and withdrawing their enlargement policy, they have not been able to turn this crisis into an opportunity. “They instead came out with an approach that threatens the common peace of all” he said. Minister Celik had meetings with the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of State for EU Affairs Harlem Desir and Senate President Gerard Larcher on his first day of visit to the French capital on Thursday. He also spoke at a conference on the future of Europe at IFRI, a French think tank on international affairs.
Turkey-backed Syrian opposition forces besieging Daesh-controlled Al-Bab have gained full control of the highway linking the town to Aleppo with intense ground and air fire support, the Turkish military said today. Three Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes near Al-Bab today, and around 20 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the course of “Operation Euphrates Shield”, launched nearly four months ago, to push Daesh militants and Kurdish militias away from the border. Eleven soldiers were wounded, one of them critically, and have been transported to hospital for treatment, the military said.