BERLIN, -- Turkey would like to join the European Union by 2023, the Turkish ambassador to the EU said.

"The Turkish government wants to join the EU by 2023," Turkish EU ambassador Selim Yenel told the German newspaper Die Welt (Friday).

This date would be in line with the 100th anniversary of the Turkish republic, Yenel pointed out.

"It would be the pinnacle for my country, being a member then," the diplomat said.

A "fully fledged" EU membership was very important to Turkey, he added. In the long run, not being a member was not acceptable for his country.

Yenel also appealed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other key European politicians to come to Turkey in the wake of the coup attempt last month, saying it would help support democracy in Turkey.

Turkey has been a candidate to join the European Union since 1999, but progress has been slow.

Earlier this month, Austria had called for an end to Ankara's negotiations to join the EU due to a lack of democratic standards in the wake of the failed coup.

Source: Name News Network