June 20, 2013
Germany Blocking Turkey's EU Membership Talks
Germany is blocking Turkey's next step towards membership in the European Union over Ankara's crackdown on anti-government protests.
All 27 EU members must agree whether to move forward on membership talks.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called Turkey's reaction to the protests appalling. German diplomats are blocking the next round of the EU's membership talks with Ankara scheduled for next week.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said his country would be Europe's sixth biggest economy, and accused the EU of continually finding excuses to block Ankara's membership.
The demonstrations have been marred by unrest, with Turkish police firing tear gas and water cannons at protesters throwing rocks and gasoline bombs.
The marchers accuse Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of imposing his conservative Islamist views on secular Turks. He denies this and says the protesters are being manipulated by terrorists. The violence has eased this week as many of the demonstrators start to embrace silent protests.