Turkey's EU Minister Omer Celik delivers a speech during a press conference on European Union (EU)'s report on Turkish candidacy for EU, on November 9, 2016 in Ankara. AFP / ADEM ALTAN
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In the face of increasing criticism and ever worsening relations, the European Union and Turkey challenged each other Wednesday to come out and say whether they want Ankara's bid to join the EU to continue.In a high-stakes game of political chicken, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the EU wouldn't be able to reach the "final point" and end its ties with Turkey out of fears of jeopardizing a deal to curb the flow of migrants from Africa and the Middle East to Europe.On the visa-free travel deal, Omer Celik, the minister in charge of Turkey's EU negotiations, said Turkey was determined not to alter its anti-terrorism laws. He said EU Vice-President Frans Timmermans would arrive in Turkey for discussions on the issue.In March, Turkey and the EU reached an agreement in which Turkey would stem the flow of migrants to Greece in return for incentives including fast-tracked membership talks, billions of euros in aid for Syrian refugees in Turkey and visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.
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