Merkel Will Ask EU to Suspend Talks with Turkey

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will ask the European Union to stop its accession talks with Turkey.

During a television debate yesterday evening, Chancellor Merkel stated:

I don’t see Turkey becoming a member [of the EU], I never believed such a thing can happen.

She added that she would speak with other EU leaders to see whether “we can end the accession talks.”

The strong position of Merkel follows the arrest of two German citizens this week “for political reasons,” putting pressure on the already strained bilateral relations between Germany and Turkey. In total, the number of imprisoned German citizens is now 12.

The breakdown of German–Turkish relations started after the criticism of the German government on the measures taken by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the wake of the failed coup in the summer of 2016.

The concentration of power in the hands of President Erdoğan, the arrest of thousands of civil servants, human rights activists, professors, and journalists, and the indefinite extension of the state of exception as well as the suspension of the European Declaration of Human Rights, are some of the measures of the Erdğan government criticized by EU countries.

A few days ago, EU President Jean-Claude Junker stated that Turkey “is moving away in giant strides from Europe.”