“The rapprochement between Turkey and the European Union is at risk of suffering a big setback,” as several EU countries come out in support of stopping the accession negotiations following the brutal suppression of the demonstrations in Turkey, reports Spiegel Online. According to various diplomatic sources consulted by the German news magazine, the EU is very likely to freeze discussions.
In the normal course of events, the European Union was supposed to open a new stage in negotiations on June 26 – the first in three years – but EU diplomats were unable to reach an agreement on whether to attend the meeting. Following the violent action police took against demonstrators in Istanbul and Ankara, which left four dead and 7,500 injured, the Netherlands and Germany are refusing to resume the negotiations.
In an interview with the private television channel RTL Angela Merkel openly criticised the action of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. To this, notes Spiegel Online, the Turkish Minister for EU affairs Egemen Bagis replied:
The German government should not be playing with Turkey’s accession to the EU. If Mrs Merkel is looking for internal political issues for her election campaign, she should look somewhere other than Turkey.