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Prospect of Turkey’s accession to EU more unlikely: Germany

The German foreign minister says the prospect of Turkey’s accession to the European Union has never been less likely, amid growing tensions between Ankara and some members of the bloc.

“Today Turkey is definitely further away from becoming a member of the European Union than ever before,” Sigmar Gabriel said in a Saturday interview with news magazine Der Spiegel.

Gabriel pointed to his long-time doubts about Turkey’s accession to the EU and said he had always found himself in the minority before.

Turkey has been trying to become an EU member for decades. Formal EU accession talks began in 2005, but the process has been plagued by problems.

The EU has opened 16 out of the 35 chapters required for Turkey to join the 28-nation bloc, but only one of them has so far been concluded.