Polish President Duda says hopes Turkey will join EU

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland hopes Turkey will eventually join the European Union, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday, days ahead of an EU summit which will discuss the frayed relations between Brussels and Ankara.

The EU, particularly heavyweight member Germany, has become increasingly critical of Turkey since President Tayyip Erdogan launched large-scale purges of state institutions, the military, the judiciary and academia after a failed coup in July 2016.

“Poland has supported and (also) today supports Turkey’s EU accession efforts,” Duda told a joint news conference with Erdogan during his visit to Warsaw.

“I hope Turkey and the EU will continue on the same path ... leading to a full membership for Turkey.”

EU leaders will discuss the bloc’s deteriorating ties with Ankara on Oct. 19 during a two-day summit.

Turkey’s 12-year-long accession talks, already dogged by disputes on a range of issues, have ground to a halt since the post-coup crackdown, in which more than 50,000 people have been jailed pending trial and some 150,000 - including judges, journalists and soldiers - have been sacked or suspended.

Within the EU, Poland has traditionally been among the most staunch supporters of enlargement, including Turkey’s accession.

Erdogan, speaking alongside Duda, reiterated his criticism of the EU’s accession policy, saying the bloc should announce the end of talks if it doesn’t mean to accept Turkey.

“We won’t bother you any further and you don’t bother us,” he said.

Reporting by Lidia Kelly and Pawel Sobczak; Additional reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun in Istanbul; Editing by Gareth Jones