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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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 Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid