German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to block Turkey from joining the European Union, as she pitched for re-election in a televised election debate with her rival, Martin Schulz.
"The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU," she quoted, after Schulz said he would stop Turkey's bid to join the EU if he was elected the chancellor.
"I'll speak to my Europen Union colleagues to see if we can reach a joint position on this so that we can end these accession talks," added Merkel, who is hoping to get re-elected for a fourth term.
This comes just weeks after German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Turkey it would never become a member of the EU as long as it is governed by the current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey has been receiving funding from the EU, which will reach €6 billion by 2018, as part of the deal to halt the migrant flow into Europe, signed in March 2016, Russia Today reported.
Turkey has been in negotiations to join the EU since 2005, but talks ended after EU leaders stepped up their criticism of President Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey was also promised visa-free travel and expedited talks on joining the EU, but the discussion of those issues remains stalled due to Ankara's refusal to relax its harsh anti-terrorism laws.