European Parliament’s vote to halt accession process ‘meaningless, worthless’: Turkey

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The European Parliament‘s vote to suspend EU accession process drew criticism from the Turkish government officials, who marked the move as “worthless” and “meaningless”.

Turkey‘s justice minister said on March 14 that the European Parliament‘s vote is biased and will go down in history as an example of Europe’s alienation from its own values.

Speaking at an event hosted by the ministry, Abdulhamit Gül said the report is “worthless” for Turkey.

On March 13, the European Parliament voted against Turkey‘s EU accession negotiations and called on the European countries to formally suspend the process.

The vote to suspend Turkey‘s EU accession process is “meaningless”, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on March 13.

European Parliament‘s stance against Turkey should be to promote ties, interaction and dialogue between Turkey and EU,” the ministry said.

Turkey expects the new European Parliament, to be formed after the elections in May, will adopt a constructive approach to the Turkey-EU relations in the upcoming period, take qualified and objective decisions and boost Turkey‘s EU integration process,” the ministry added.

Turkish Parliament‘s Foreign Affairs Committee head Volkan Bozkır also condemned the decision, describing it as “groundless” and said the European Parliament has showed its “bias and prejudice” against Turkey.

“EP again proved with this decision that they are far from constructive path. Turkey‘s negotiation and accession process is beneficial for both Turkey and the EU.

Turkey‘s deep-rooted and multidimensional relations with the EU contributed and is still contributing to the EU in many aspects,” Bozkır said.

Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın also slammed the vote as “null and void” for Turkey.

“The decision voted by the European Parliament, which is non-binding, unilateral and away from the objectivity, is null and void for us,” he said in a statement.

“The content of the European Parliament‘s 2018 Turkey report is an attempt to axe the process of increased joint efforts to gain a new momentum in Turkey-EU relations,” Kalın said.

He also said far-right political movements in Europe disclosed the prejudiced attitude against Turkey with a report which contains “baseless claims” that do not reflect reality.

Turkey‘s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman also criticized the vote.

“This disrespectful decision shows European Parliament‘s far-right ideological tendency,” Ömer Çelik wrote on Twitter.

Çelik said the European Parliament was far away from making supportive decisions to democratic development and accused the European Parliament of looking through “the narrow window of the far-right.”

EP report on Turkey

On March 13, the European Parliament voted against Turkey‘s EU accession negotiations and called on the European countries to formally suspend the process.

A total of 370 members of the EP voted in favor of the decision to suspend Turkey‘s EU negotiations while 109 voted against and 143 abstained from voting.

The 2018 Commission Report on Turkey had been prepared by Rapporteur Kati Piri and voted in the European Parliament‘s Committee for Foreign Affairs on Feb. 21.

The non-binding advisory report, however, also praised Turkey‘s efforts in hosting refugees.

Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world, with more than 3 million registered refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,” the report noted.

The report noted that visa liberalization is of great importance for Turkish citizens, particularly for students, academics, business representatives and people with family ties in EU Member States.

The report expressed its firm condemnation of the return to violence on the part of the illegal PKK and recalled that the group has been on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2002.  The PKK is also listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and the United States.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005.  But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France.

Hurriyet Daily News

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