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Turkey. European Commission: accession negotiations with Ankara remain at a standstill

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The European Commission, presenting its annual report, said on Tuesday that negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the European Union were at a standstill. This is the most critical EU report to date on the state of relations between the European Union and Ankara in the 16-year history of the negotiations, notes Reuters.

The European Commission estimated that in Turkey the process of erosion of democracy and the rule of law continues. She also pointed out that Ankara ignored the recommendations contained in the previous European Union report. This year’s EU report suggests for the first time that the authorities in Ankara are in fact not interested in implementing the proposed reforms, despite the assurances of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in April that EU membership continues to be a goal for his country.

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“The EU’s serious concerns about the deterioration of democratic standards, the rule of law, fundamental rights and the independence of the judiciary (in Turkey) have not been allayed. In many areas, the situation is further deteriorating,” the European Commission said. “In this situation, negotiations on the accession of Turkey are at a standstill,” she concluded.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry assessed the report as an example of “double standards” by the EU and rejected “unfair criticism and unfounded allegations.” It also accused the EU of not keeping its promises to Turkey. The ministry also argues that Ankara still cares about membership in the community.

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Difficult diplomatic relations between the European Union and Turkey

Since failed coup in Turkey in July 2016, the country’s diplomatic relations with the EU began to deteriorate, reminds Reuters. An EU report points to a series of “restrictions on journalists, writers, lawyers, attorneys, lecturers, human rights defenders and critics” Erdogan. The Turkish authorities explain that security measures are necessary due to the threats the country has to deal with when it shares the border with Iraq and Syria. The European Commission cannot reject Turkey’s candidacy to the EU. Such a decision requires the consent of all 27 EU countries, reminds Reuters.

Main photo source: ERDEM SAHIN / PAP / EPA



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