BRUSSELS / ANKARA — As Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) imprisons even more members of its political opposition, launches yet another military operation in northern Iraq, and rhetorically lashes out at U.S. President Joe Binden’s decision to recognize the Armenian Genocide of 1915, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved overwhelmingly a proposal that includes a formal suspension of negotiations with Turkey over membership in the European Union.
The proposal, submitted by the Christian Democrats group as a part of a report on Ankara’s candidacy for membership in the European Union, was approved by 49 members of the Committee, rejected by 4 members, with 14 members abstaining.
A plenary session will be held next month. If approved, the proposal will be considered the official stance of the European Parliament regarding Turkey’s request to join the European Union.
Members of the European Parliament stressed the importance of the official suspension of negotiations if the Turkish government continues on its path towards authoritarianism.
“Taking a decision is urgent at a time when basic freedoms in Turkey are diminishing,” read a statement by the group.
Romanian Christian Democrat MP Vlad Nestor indicated that Turkey’s relations with Brussels are today at their lowest historical levels. “No place in the European Union for aggressors,” he added.
So long as the Turkish government refuses to undertake reforms, said Nestor, negotiations will remain suspended.