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EU Parliament Urges Formal Suspension Of Turkey Accession Talks

08 Juillet 2017

Johannes Hahn said he had held a "constructive" meeting with Celik, adding: "I am always stressing that Turkey is a key strategic partner for the European Union and vice versa".

Opposition parties and human rights groups say the changes threaten judicial independence and push Turkey towards one-man rule.

Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik said today, during a visit to Ankara by EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn, that it was wrong for EU lawmakers to call for the suspension of Turkey's membership talks, adding such approaches did not benefit anyone.

But EU states warned a mooted move to reimpose the death penalty in Turkey would automatically end Ankara's accession bid which has been decades in the making.

Turkey's deputy prime minister has accused the Netherlands of infringing on the rights of Turkish citizens after Dutch authorities said he was not welcome to deliver a speech there.

The European Parliament has asked for Turkey's EU accession talks to be suspended if Ankara goes ahead with a planned constitutional reform which would grant sweeping powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)'s recent decision to reopen a political monitoring process against Turkey also negatively affected Ankara-Brussels ties.

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In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also rebuked the resolution.

"In this regard, I hope that they [the EU] support our search for justice and decide to sustain relations with Turkey. because justice is not a concept only for Turkey, but for all humanity", he added.

"This report is a worthless report that we do not have any respect for".

MEPs acknowledged the extraordinary difficulties faced by Turkey in 2016, including heavy flows of refugees from neighboring Syria and an attempted coup-d'etat last July, but criticized the measures undertaken in the state of emergency that has been in place since. Ankara undertook negotiations on wide-ranging reforms necessary before it could formally join the bloc.

"The backbone of the relationship between Turkey and the European Union are accession negotiations", Celik told reporters.

Negotiations, however, hit a stalemate in 2007 because of Turkey's position on the Cyprus issue.

EU Parliament Urges Formal Suspension Of Turkey Accession Talks