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EU Parliament calls for freeze on Turkey membership talks

24 November 2016, 18:40 CET
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EU Parliament calls for freeze on Turkey membership talks

Turkey - EU

(STRASBOURG) - The European Parliament called Thursday for a temporary freeze on EU accession talks with Turkey until "disproportionate repressive measures" under the country's state of emergency are lifted.

In a debate prompted by recent arrests of journalists and opposition politicians in Turkey, MEPs made clear in their resolution that they wanted Turkey nonetheless to remain "anchored" to the EU. But halting negotiations would mean that no new negotiating chapters would be opened and no new initiatives taken in relation to Turkey's EU Negotiation Framework.

"Turkey is an important partner of the EU", said the MEPs. "But in partnerships, the will to cooperate has to be two-sided (...) Turkey is not showing this political will as the government's actions are further diverting Turkey from its European path", they add.

Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership since 1999, with accession negotiations started in 2005. As a major emerging economy and a member of NATO and G20, Turkey is seen as a key partner for the European Union.

MEPs warned Turkey that the re-introduction of capital punishment by the Turkish government would lead to a formal suspension of the accession process, pointing out that "the unequivocal rejection of the death penalty is an essential element of the requirements of EU membership.

The resolution strongly condemned "disproportionate repressive measures" taken by the Turkish government since the failed coup attempt in July 2016. These "violate basic rights and freedoms protected by the Turkish Constitution" itself, they say.

The procedure for suspending EU accession negotiations is set out in article 5 of the Negotiating Framework for Turkey. This stipulates that " in the case of a serious and persistent breach in Turkey of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law on which the Union is founded, the Commission will, on its own initiative or on the request of one third of the Member States, recommend the suspension of negotiations and propose the conditions for eventual resumption".

The resolution voted by the European Parliament is not legally binding, because Parliament has no formal role in the initial triggering of such mechanisms, but it has to be informed once this has been done.

Further information, European Parliament

Adopted text (2016/2993(RSP)) will soon be available here (24.11.2016)

EP Research note: Turkey since the failed July 2016 coup (September 2016)

Negotiating Framework for Turkey (3 October 2005)

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EU parliement calls for...

Posted by Demir Arabaci at 24 November 2016, 20:18 CET

A more appropriate statement from the EU would have been:
"Turkey, come back when you have kicked that yobaz erdogan (an ignorant and fanatical religious freak) and his yobaz followers out for good".

EU parliament ....

Posted by Demir Arabaci at 27 November 2016, 20:49 CET

A couple of days ago, this ignorant yobaz (and a moron)made a threatining statement that if the EU did not take him seriously and kept asking for the release of the journalists and all the other innocent citizens of Turkey, he would release more than 160000
emigrants into the EU territory. So, what would happen?

If Greece and Bulgaria kept their borders closed which they should the outcome for those 160000 people would be a certain death in the fridgid waters of the Aegean.

What kind of a juvenile brainless moron is he??

He is slowly turning into another qadafi of libya and hopefully will get the same kind of treatment from the silent majority in Turkey.

It is long overdue.