The European Parliament has advised the European Union to freeze accession talks with Turkey amid growing concerns over the country’s human rights and democracy. Unfortunately, this was a symbolic vote only.
FOX News Turkey rejected the move, calling it an attempt to “sabotage” relations with the EU. (One can only hope
The legislature voted 477-64 with 97 abstentions to approve a non-binding report recommending the suspension of the negotiations in the wake Turkey’s referendum in April that approved constitutional amendments to give the president sweeping new powers. The parliament called on the EU’s 28 states to formally suspend the talks “without delay” if the constitutional reforms are implemented without change in Turkey.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said what mattered was the opinion of EU leaders and that there was no change in Turkey’s aim for EU membership. Omer Celik, the minister in charge of relations with the EU, slammed the report as “geared toward sabotaging relations” and said Turkey would consider it “null and void” as it has done with equivalent reports in the past.
The minister also said Turkey would never accept any proposal to reformulate EU-Turkish ties through a series of agreements on immigration, combating terrorism and trade.