The European People’s Party (EPP) and the Social Democrats (SD) asked for Turkey’s accession talks with the EU to halt on Tuesday, November 22.
EPP’s leader in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, said: “accession negotiations should be frozen immediately.” SD leader, Gianni Pitella said his group wants “to freeze accession talks,” because Turkey is “drifting towards an authoritarian regime.”
Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt also called for “suspension” of negotiations.
Pitella, Weber, and Verhostadt are reacting to the purge of 110,000 soldiers, academics, judges, journalists, and Kurdish leaders; they also object to the closing down of 36,000 media outlets and Turkey’s insistence on reinstating capital punishment.
Germany and France want EU accession talks to continue, not least because the process frames negotiations that include the EU-Turkey refugee agreement. That agreement has disrupted the flow of hundreds of thousands of refugees to Europe and has kept almost three million Syrians in Turkey.
The European Commission is siding with the Franco-German Axis.
Federica Mogherini reiterated on Tuesday that Turkey has “the legitimate right” to bring perpetrators of the July 15 coup to justice. She warned that halting the accession process would be a “lose-lose scenario.”
Mogherini recalled that the EU stood on the side of the Turkish democracy and the Commission called on all parties to condemn the perpetrators of the coup.
President Erdogan, in turn, says he could put EU accession talks to a national referendum next year and believes that Ankara can join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization instead. Turkey still hopes to secure visa-free travel to the EU.