European Union should not close door on Turkey membership talks - Germany

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

It is reported that the country report States that "Turkey is moving away from the EU" in the background "the serious relapses in the areas of justice, public administration, fundamental rights and freedom of expression".

While Turkey has always had it hard notably due to the Cyprus issue and resistance to its membership by France and Germany, the recent purges of police, teachers, judges, and other officials since the attempt at coup d'état in 2016 made Turkey's membership prospects dramatically worse.

Referring to a recent meeting among presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey in Ankara, Rouhani said, "Fighting against terrorism, ending the war in Syria and establishing security in the region are among the common goals of the three countries". It bodes poorly for Ankara's hopes of negotiating an European Union free-trade deal and visa-free travel for Turks to the bloc.

The Commission report, part of an European Union process to measure candidates' steps towards European Union standards and integration, also called for Turkey to lift a state of emergency that allows President Tayyip Erdogan and the government to bypass parliament in passing new laws and to suspend rights and freedoms. Turkey started its talks to join the bloc in 2005, 18 years after applying.

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The move comes to end their state of emergency.

The next step is for parliament to approve the extension but this is viewed as a formality. Around 40,000 have been reinstated, Turkish authorities say.

"It is in the hands of those responsible in Turkey to decide whether they want to be a member of this European community of values", Michael Roth said on arrival to a meeting of EU ministers in Luxembourg.

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