Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that a European Parliament vote set to back a freeze of membership talks with Ankara over its relentless post-coup crackdown would have “no value”.
The non-binding vote set for this week threatens to escalate existing tensions between the European Union and Turkey.
However, EU member states, with the exception of Austria, are so far all in favour of keeping the talks on track despite alarm over the extent of the crackdown following the 15 July coup.
Speaking at the meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul he said: “I want to say in advance from here and address the whole world watching on their TV screens – this vote has no value at all, no matter what result emerges.”
The European Parliament’s main groups said on Tuesday they will vote to freeze membership talks with Turkey because of the crackdown.
Turkey and the EU had agreed to speed up membership talks after both sides reached a deal in March to curb migrant and refugee flows towards the European Union.
But the process has stalled since the coup.
The EU has been very critical of the mass arrests and job dismissals in the ensuing crackdown.
Erdogan was outspoken about what he called “lack of concrete support” from the EU and added: “On the contrary, commitments made have never been fulfilled; words given have not been kept.”
He urged Islamic countries to join their forces to end the West’s “double standards” which meant any leader who dared raise criticism was labelled a dictator.
“If we remain silent, they will keep rolling out the red carpet to tyrants whose hands are bloody… and stigmatising as a dictator those who criticise them,” he added.
(Source / 25.11.2016)