Reuters International

A security officer stays on the roof near the Turkey's national flag as supporters of various political parties gather in Istanbul's Taksim Square before the Republic and Democracy Rally organised by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Turkey, July 24, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's EU Affairs Minister said on Thursday that comments by Austria's chancellor, suggesting talks with Turkey on joining the European Union should be ended, came disturbingly close to the rhetoric of the far right.

"It's disturbing that his statements are similar to those of the far right... Criticism is surely a democratic right but there has to be a difference between criticising Turkey and being against Turkey," Omer Celik told reporters in Ankara.

Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said on Wednesday that he would start a discussion among European heads of government to quit talks with Turkey about joining the European Union because of the country's democratic and economic deficits.

(Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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