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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's bid to join the European Union is a secondary goal as long as the country can achieve the bloc's standards, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Thursday.

Zeybekci made the comment in an interview with broadcaster NTV. Turkey's ties with Brussels have been strained in recent months and reached a low in the run-up to the April 16 referendum that granted President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan)

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