Turkey: no EU membership without respect for democracy
Monday, 17 July 2017
Juncker is clear: the EU will only consider Turkey's membership when there are significant signs that it operates as a democracy with for example evident human rights, freedom of the press and the rule of law.
On Sunday, the President of the European Commission urged Turkey to respect democratic values if it, one day, wished to enter the EU. This came the day after the harsh words of the Turkish President against the perpetrators of the coup.
“A year after the attempted coup the hand of Europe remains outstretched.” Jean-Claude Juncker wrote this in an article published by the Sunday edition of the German newspaper Bild. However, for several years the nothing has happened in negotiations upon Turkey’s membership of the EU.
Mr Juncker added, however in exchange, it is necessary “that Turkey clearly demonstrates its will to be European and takes to heart, in a decisive way, fundamental European values.” Departments within the European Commission are responsible for leading membership negotiations with Turkey.
The President of the Commission added, “A Union of human rights, freedom of the press and the rule of law is not compatible with placing journalists in solitary confinement for months without charge.” This in particular refers to the case of the German-Turkish citizen, Deniz Yücel, accused by Ankara of actively supporting “terrorism”.
The previous day, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had commemorated the first anniversary of the attempted coup by promising to “behead traitors.”
Ankara has launched purges on an unprecedented scale against assumed supporters of the Gülen movement, accused of instigating the attempted coup d’état. More than 50,000 individuals have been arrested and more than 100,000 have been fired during successive waves.