Euro MPs call for suspension of Turkey accession talks

| Updated: Jun 21, 2017 04:06 IST

Moscow [Russia], June 20 (ANI): The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs have adopted a resolution urging Brussels to formally suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey, due to constitutional change that grants Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with sweeping powers. The resolution came as part of an annual assessment of Turkey's reform progress by Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs, according to a Tuesday press release from the European Parliament. Referencing to a recent vote which gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping powers, the European Parliament called on the EU to "formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged," Russia Today reported The European Parliament has criticized Erdogan's controversial referendum and Ankara's actions following last year's coup attempt. Erdogan victory means he will become the sole executive head of state, with authority to choose his own cabinet ministers, enact laws, call elections, and declare states of emergency. Prior to the referendum, the role of the president in Turkey was more of a ceremonial one. The parliament's press release also criticized Ankara's actions following last year's coup attempt. Erdogan, has achieved victory in a historic referendum on April 16, 2017 that brings in package of constitutional amendments granting him sweeping powers including transformation of the upper echelons of the state and changing the country from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential republic. The MEPs have expressed concern that Turkey will "backslide" when it comes to the rule of law, human rights, media freedom, and the fight against corruption. They also condemned the Turkish governments "repeatedly declared support for the reintroduction of the death penalty," which would "put into question Turkey's membership in the Council of Europe and lead to an immediate end of EU accession talks." This development came when the European Union's enlargement chief, Johannes Hahn announced his scheduled to Turkey for EU accession talks on July 6.Turkey has applied for membership to the EU in 1987; accession talks began in 2005. According to the EU Turkey Delegation, Ankara's importance to the European Union will be underlined during the visit. To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters which involve reforms and the adoption of European standards. (ANI)