Friday, April 21, 2017

It's Time To Break Off EU Membership Talks with Turkey

SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL: Turks have voted to give their autocratic president even more power, with few checks and balances. By doing so, they have cast their ballot against the values of the European Union. It's time for the EU to take action by ending membership talks with Turkey.

With Turkey's vote on Sunday for sweeping constitutional reforms, autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consolidated his power and divided the country. The referendum on the Turkish Constitution is just one further example in the year of Brexit of the dubious value of referenda. There is likely to be much talk in the coming days of a majority vote, regardless how narrow it was (51.4-48.8), and how it must be respected.

For the European Union, however, there can only be one outcome: Membership negotiations with Turkey should be terminated.

The Turks have voted for autocracy, for the repression of political opponents and likely also for the introduction of the death penalty. None of these can be reconciled with membership in the EU. For Brussels now, at the very latest, the time has come to call the accession process what it is: dead. » | Markus Becker in Brussels | Tuesday, April 18, 2017