Erdogan says Turkey weary of waiting for EU approval

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called on French businesses in Paris to take part in Turkey's economic growth.

Both men hailed co-operation in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The two sides had in 2015 agreed to a EU-Turkey statement to stem migrant flows in exchange for billions in refugee aid and other political concessions, some of which, like a visa-waiver regime for Turkish nationals that has yet to materialise.

Fethullah Gulen, a US-based preacher, is accused by Ankara of orchestrating the coup attempt.

The Turkish leader also accused the USA of "disrespecting" the Turkish judiciary for failing to extradite US -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016. More than 140,000 Turkish civil servants have been sacked for the same reason.

Macron said he had raised with Erdogan the cases of specific journalists and members of Galatasaray University who had been detained, but declined to give details.

The two leaders expressed radically different views on freedom of expression. They are ideologues who carry water to mills of "terrorism", Erdogan has launched.

Erdoğan, meanwhile, said terrorism "does not create itself" and claimed that "columnists and opinion leaders are the gardeners of terrorism", calling for a joint struggle. They bring grist to the mill. It can not be divided. There was still question of rule of law and freedoms, especially that of expression. "Those who accept a process that a terrorist organization has prepared and sustained support the terrorist organization, not the law". But to express an opinion, if it is not incitement, if it is not meant to destroy others or expound terrorist theories, then it is an opinion and it must be free. "It has made us seriously exhausted", he said, adding that "one can not permanently implore and wait to be included". "We have been seriously exhausted, my nation, too".

Erdoğan said that he believes more French-financed companies can be established in Turkey as the number now totals around 1,500 firms.

During the announcement, the USA president had been quick to remind Pakistan of its "obligation" to help America "because it receives massive payments" from Washington every year. "The UNHCR has not given a lot of money either, only $600 million".

France, he said, wanted to maintain some balance.

Mr Macron came very close to doing the same. He said Pakistan believes in a policy of engagement and cooperation and regretted that its sentiments had not been respected.

Erdogan's visit to Paris for talks with Macron was his most important bilateral visit to an European Union state since the failed putsch.

In a joint news conference, he said: "We can not continuously ask the European Union, "please take us, too" now, ' as he claimed the European Union had left Turkey 'waiting outside the door" of the bloc for decades. That's something that sadly is rare in Turkey these days - with its once independent judiciary in tatters and too many of its independent journalists in jail.

The French, Italian and Turkish defence ministers signed a letter of intent in November on cooperation in joint defence projects.

Vanessa Coleman