Turkey’s EU Bid Put on Hold by Angela Merkel
European Union leadership is preparing to meet on October 19-20 in Brussels to discuss a myriad of issues. However, much to the chagrin of Recep Erdogan, the issue of Turkey’s bid to join the continental bloc will not be one of them.
The announcement came via the podcast of Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, recently re-elected to her country’s highest political post. Member-nations are currently split over the decision to allow Turkey into the Union.
The Head of State declared that she wished to review the opinions of her colleagues, and what their thoughts on further relations with the Erdogan government.
The main issue with Turkey’s potential inclusion in the EU is, of course, the allegation of human rights violation, as well as the perceived autocratic regime of President Erdogan.
Madam Merkel stated her government was aware of various cases in which private citizens are being imprisoned unjustly.
Chancellor Merkel has taken a hard stance against the Erdogan administration in the past, notably during her debate with political rival Martin Schulz in September. At that time she promised her constituents to lobby the EU to end talks over possible membership with Turkey.
Public opinion of Recep Erdogan, and his government, is very low in Germany as a result of recent actions against German citizens.
Die Welt’s journalist Deniz Yuecel has been imprisoned in Turkey since February, with the publication making daily updates as to his condition.
Then, in July, a human rights activist hailing from Germany, Peter Steudtner, was incarcerated on charges of terrorism, and faces a possible 15-year prison sentence if convicted.
The current tension may result in the ascension talks, being held since 2005, to be scrapped altogether. That could mean trouble for Turkey, whose largest trading partner at the time is the European Union.
Many throughout Europe also believe that the refugee deal signed with Turkey is also a bad one for the continent. As part of the deal, the EU promises to give billions of Euros in exchange for Erdogan’s government to take back some refugees, currently languishing in camps throughout Europe, especially in the Balkans.
That particular deal has been met with fierce resistance to critics of Turkey’s current government.
The refugee deal has not been rescinded by the EU, and talks of ascension have not been permanently frozen. However, the longer the discussion persists, the farther it seems to fruition.