Turkey accession talks should be terminated - top European official

The Vice President of the European Parliament said on Monday that Turkey no longer meets the criteria for joining the European Union and accession negotiations should be ended, Vocal Europe reported

"The accession negotiations with Turkey should not be frozen but should be terminated," Pavel Telička said in an interview. "Turkey, in my opinion, no longer complies with the criteria and we should not pursue the negotiations. We should not be fooling ourselves and we should not be fooling the Turks."

When Telička was European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection in 2004, he was firmly in support of Turkish membership. "But since then a lot has happened in Turkey," he said. "I mean, not just with the coup d’état but the overall situation with Turkey which is deteriorating in a number of respects, definitely in the state of democracy and human rights."

Since the July 2016 coup attempt, Turkey has declared a state of emergency and detained more than 150,000 people, including thousands of members of a top political party. The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also jailed more than 100 journalists and shuttered some 150 news outlets. 

Turkey's EU accession negotiations began in October 2005. Progress had slowed in recent years and this past June E.U. ministers declared the talks at a "standstill." 

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