Guy Verhofstadt: „We should stop accession talks with Turkey”

Guy Verhofstadt finds the criticism on the outcome of the Turkish referendum very serious and a reason to stop the country’s accession talks with the European Union:

„The proposed constitutional changes do not only grant President Erdogan authoritarian powers, they also disrupt the democratic checks and balances in Turkey and the referendum on which they are based didn’t meet the standards of the Council of Europe.

A fair campaign has been prevented by the Turkish government who intimidated the „no”-side and even resorted to jailing dozens of journalists. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) confirms that both media and opposition parties have been boycotted by the Turkish government, thus precluding a level playing field between the „yes” and „no” sides.

On top of that, the outcome was very tight. Turkey’s big cities, for example, clearly voted against changing the constitution.

The only logical conclusion of this all is that the EU stops accession talks immediately and rethinks its relationship with Turkey.”


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