EP votes for temporary suspencion of Turkey’s EU accession

Resolution does not affect EU-Turkey refugee deal

European Parliament members have overwhelmingly voted in favour of suspending Turkey’s EU accession talks with 479 votes for, 37 against and 107 abstentions, Thursday. The resolution passed in the EP is a response by the body’s deputies to a widespread crackdown on democratic rights and the press freedom by President Recep Erdogan after the July 15 failed coup attempt. The temporary freeze on the negotiation process is limited to the accession talks and will not affect any standing agreements between the EU and Turkey, including the refugee agreement or the customs union. The resolution has a non-binding nature and calls on all EU member-states to “temporarily halt” negotiations with Ankara “until the lifting of disproportionate measures taken due to the state of emergency that had been imposed in Turkey from July”. Manfred Webber, the head of the European Peoples Party (EPP said that the accession negotiations could not continue under the current conditions, while the leader of the socialist group in the EP, Gianni Pitella, stressed that when human rights were violated so viciously the EU should react.