ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that his country, an official candidate for European Union membership, sees itself as an inseparable part of Europe.

"We see ourselves as an inseparable part of Europe...However this does not mean that we will bow down to overt attacks to our country and nation, veiled injustices and double standards," Erdogan said in a speech to the members of its AK Party


Dutch MEP Peter van Dalen is a strong critic of Erdogan, stating on Twitter that Erdogan is a despot whose illegal occupation of parts of Cyprus (an EU member state) rubs salt into an open wound. "When will the EU take firm steps against this aggressor?", he asks. The European Council meets on December 10 in Brussels, where the possibility of sanctions against Turkey is on the agenda.