Turkey is in favor of keeping the EU–Turkey Customs Union, which benefits the bloc as much as it does the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday.
Addressing a meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in southwestern Denizli province, Erdoğan highlighted the importance of the customs union, while he criticized European countries for "making it a habit to threaten Turkey."
Erdoğan's comments come in response to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statements over not extending the customs union deal with Turkey.
"As if Turkey receives hundreds of thousands of euros from the European Union and European countries free of charge" Erdoğan said, adding that Turkey has not profited from the membership process.
As the only non-EU member country that has had a customs union agreement with the EU since 1996, Turkey has been one of the largest trade partners of the union with an export value of 66.7 billion euros and an import value of 78 billion euros in 2016 in goods alone.