News / Europe

Turkey Warns Germany Not to Play Politics Over EU Entry Talks

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, June 18, 2013.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, June 18, 2013.
Reuters
Turkey warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday not to play politics with its European Union ambitions, and said failure to open a new chapter in accession talks next week would be a major setback in Ankara's relations with the bloc.
 
Many EU capitals want to take the long-awaited step on Turkey's path towards the EU next week, arguing Europe should capitalize on Ankara's rising influence in the Middle East.
 
But Germany has criticized Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's heavy-handed response to weeks of anti-government protests and appears to be refusing to agree to open a new negotiation area, potentially the first such step in three years.
 
Merkel's conservatives have rejected Turkish EU membership in their German election program, saying the country would “overburden” the bloc because of its size and economy, sparking anger in Ankara.
 
“If Mrs. Merkel is looking for domestic political material for her elections, that material should not be Turkey,” Turkey's EU minister Egemen Bagis told reporters on Thursday.

“If Mrs.Merkel looks into it she will see that those who mess about with Turkey do not have an auspicious end,” he said.
 
European governments delayed a decision on Thursday on resuming membership talks because of reluctance in Berlin, setting the stage for last-minute discussions on Monday.
 
“Nothing was decided. The Germans have to report back home but it seems they are leaning towards not opening the chapter,” said one EU diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
 
Opposition in Germany to Turkish EU membership has grown in recent years, with two thirds saying they opposed it in a new poll by Forsa for Thursday's edition of weekly magazine Stern.

Erdogan angry over criticism
 
Protesters run in panic as riot police return to Istanbul's Taksim Square late afternoon and fire teargas canisters, in Istanbul, Turkey, June 11, 2013.Protesters run in panic as riot police return to Istanbul's Taksim Square late afternoon and fire teargas canisters, in Istanbul, Turkey, June 11, 2013.
x
Protesters run in panic as riot police return to Istanbul's Taksim Square late afternoon and fire teargas canisters, in Istanbul, Turkey, June 11, 2013.
Protesters run in panic as riot police return to Istanbul's Taksim Square late afternoon and fire teargas canisters, in Istanbul, Turkey, June 11, 2013.
Merkel said on Monday she was “appalled” by the crackdown on protesters in Istanbul. The protests began over a redevelopment project in a park, but spiraled into an unprecedented show of defiance against what Erdogan critics call his authoritarianism.
 
Police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse stone-throwing protesters night after night in cities including Istanbul and Ankara, unrest which left four people dead and some 7,500 suffering from injuries ranging from cuts to breathing difficulties, according to the Turkish Medical Association.
 
Erdogan and his government have bristled at foreign criticism of his handling of the unrest, saying the response was no different to police action taken in the past in countries including Germany and the United States.
 
Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper quoted a senior Turkish diplomat on Thursday as saying Ankara could suspend negotiations with Brussels altogether if the new chapter - dealing with regional funding issues - is not opened next week, although other officials were more cautious.
 
“A decision not to open this chapter would definitely send the wrong signal and will draw a strong reaction from Turkey,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters.

“We are telling everyone that this is what we agreed to do months ago ... and if it does not happen, it would definitely be a political decision. As far as we can see, all our EU counterparts can see that and are on board with us,” he said.
 
Germany is Turkey's largest trading partner in the EU and is home to some three million Turks, the biggest diaspora in Europe.
 
All of the major German parties are trying to appeal to voters with immigrant backgrounds ahead of a federal election on Sept. 22 in which Merkel will be trying to win a third term.
 
But Merkel's party says Turks in Germany are more interested in jobs and conservative values than Turkey's EU membership, supported by the opposition Social Democrats and Greens.
 
The Turkish official said Ankara's response should the chapter fail to be opened would depend on the justification given by the European Union.
 
“If it is Germany, whether they present it as a technical issue, a domestic political restraint, or as due to the events that have happened in Turkey will be key,” the official said.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Daox from: USA
June 20, 2013 4:54 PM
"Merkel said on Monday she was “appalled” by the crackdown on protesters in Istanbul."

Appalled is right!

Erdogan should write a book after this and title, "What not to do"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid