Leading European Union lawmakers on Wednesday called for a formal halt to Turkey’s long-stalled EU membership talks, citing President Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to assume greater powers after a referendum this month backed a constitutional overhaul.
German Manfred Weber, head of the biggest faction in the EU legislature, the centre-right European People’s Party, told European Parliament’s hemicycle that full membership for Turkey was no longer realistic.
Other lawmakers said Brussels could instead open talks on a looser kind of relationship known as an “association agreement”, or strengthen the customs union Turkey already has with the EU.
Ties between EU states and Turkey, a NATO ally, have soured amid human rights concerns following Erdogan’s sweeping crackdown on suspected supporters of a failed military coup last July. Tens of thousands of people, including soldiers, judges, teachers and civil servants, have been arrested or sacked.
The EU executive has asked Europe’s foreign ministers to consider other types of ties with Turkey when they meet on Friday.
Source: Channels Tv