In the latest diplomatic escalation between the EU and Turkey, on Thursday the European Parliament voted to suspend Turkey’s EU accession talks, which as a reminder have been dragging on for decades, if Ankara proceeds with its tplanned constitutional reform which grants sweeping powers to President Recep Erdogan. The resolution passed by the parliament in Strasbourg calls for the ‘ Commission and the member states, in accordance with the Negotiating Framework, to formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged.”
“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, criticizing a stance which she said was “feeding President Erdogan’s authoritarianism.”
Still, the vote was largely symbolic: the EU Parliament has limited influence on Turkey’s decades-old pursuit of EU membership, now in limbo after bitter exchanges between Ankara and some European countries, but the decision does highlight the gulf which has grown between the two sides.
In response to the decision, Turkey’s EU affairs minister, Omer Celik did what Turkey has always done best: ignored the decision, and announced that Ankara does not accept the EU Parliament report. Quoted by Reuters, Celik said Ankara regarded Thursday’s vote in Strasbourg as invalid, while the foreign ministry was similarly dismissive.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 6, 2017.