EU Calls For Suspension of Accession Talks With Turkey

European Parliament Committee has called for the suspension of talks with Turkey if the constitutional changes enacted in a controversial referendum on April 16 take effect unchanged.

A report by Kati Piri, European Parliament’s Rapporteur on Turkey, was put to a vote at the Committee before a general vote in Parliament in July at a summit of member states.

“What we see that Commission and the Council are actually silent about what is going on in Turkey,” Ms. Piri said after the vote, which passed with 51 Yes votes against 3 No and 14 abstained.

“This was the toughest battle to make sure that Parliament speaks with one voice of concern about the human rights in Turkey and one voice that it will have consequences on the accession process,” she said about the disparity of opinions that remain in place regarding how to deal with Turkey.

“What we adopted today says if the constitutional package will be implemented unchanged, this means it will have to lead a formal suspension of the accession talks with Turkey,” she added.

She urged the Turkish government to take the Venice Commission recommendations seriously, as well as the fact that half of the Turkish population voted against it in the referendum.

The EU also called on the Turkish authorities immediately release imprisoned Turkish journalists amid ongoing media trials. Turkey’s relations with the EU plunged into a succession of diplomatic rows over the deterioration of human rights and freedoms in Turkey in the aftermath of the coup.

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