Published: Sun, July 09, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Turkey: EU parliament vote to end talks will be a 'terrible mistake'

Turkey: EU parliament vote to end talks will be a 'terrible mistake'

Turkey's ties with its European allies have deteriorated since last July's abortive coup. with Turkey accusing some European states of not showing enough support.

Hahn was speaking to reporters at the end of a visit to Turkey during which he met Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and other government ministers.

Turkey's April 16 constitutional referendum is set to grant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan powers that will make him as powerful as (if not more powerful than) the Turkish parliament.

In reality, there has been little progress on Turkey's membership bid since negotiations were formally launched 12 years ago.

"[The European Parliament] points out that the envisaged site is located in a region prone to severe earthquakes, hence posing a major threat not only to Turkey, but also to the Mediterranean region", the resolution said.

The measures taken in the aftermath of the coup attempt "had large-scale, disproportionate and long-lasting negative effects on a large number of citizens as well as on the protection of fundamental freedoms in the country".

However, the bloc does not want to undermine the 2016 agreement in which Turkey stopped Middle East migrants crossing into Greece, easing the crisis that had crippled parts of European Union infrastructure and "threatened European Union unity", Reuters says.

"We are calling European Parliament to respect the result of the referendum", he said. "But that is not a low-hanging fruit either", said Sommer.

Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik said Turkey viewed Thursday's vote as invalid and Ankara rejected any proposals to drop EU accession talks. Talks about Ankara's membership of the European Union began in 2005, but the negotiations have been repeatedly suspended over the years due to various obstacles. However, he insisted that Ankara had alternatives, saying joining the bloc was not the country's sole option.

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

"The current strategy of the European Commission and EU leaders seems to wait silently for things to improve in Turkey", said the European Parliament's lead negotiator on Turkey, Kati Piri, criticising a stance which she said was "feeding President Erdogans authoritarianism".

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