TENSIONS BETWEEN EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND TURKEY HEAT UP

The European Parliament has become increasingly critical about democratic backsliding in Turkey, with calls on Thursday for a complete end to accession negotiations with the country.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said that Turkey should no longer receive pre-accession funding from the European Union budget as part of its candidacy process and for economic sanctions to be used as a stick against Ankara, which they called an “authoritarian regime.”

Although all EU governments would have to vote by a qualified majority to end Turkey’s 15-year-long stalled EU accession bid and cut funding programs, the escalating trend of criticism should be seen as a warning.

Last March the European Parliament also called for the suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey, over concerns about the violation of human rights and the rule of law. Ankara rejected the symbolic nonbinding resolution in favor of formally suspending EU accession talks with Turkey as “meaningless.”

Its Turkey rapporteur, Nacho Sanchez Amor, criticized the country for showing “constant distancing, underpinned by a lack of trust.”