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 Full text 
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

17. Turkey-EU relationship (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group . – Madam President, EU-Turkey relations have become an all-too-familiar hotly-debated topic in this House. Just as Turkey drifts even further from western democratic norms on the domestic scene, its foreign policy decisions become ever more contrary to those of the European Union and NATO allies. Most recently we saw a USD 2.5 billion contract to purchase the Russian S400 anti-aircraft weapon system. This decision shows not only a disregard for the current strained relations between Russia and the West but also raises questions about its continued policy in Syria that diverges from that of the European Union and NATO: particularly now also Turkey’s offensive against the PYD fighters, against ISIS in Syria – another example – also its bullying of Cyprus in its attempts to rightfully explore for oil in its territorial waters.

The situation inside Turkey, meanwhile, continues to reel from last year’s coup attempt. Despite already purging over 100 000 individuals from the civil service and the judiciary as well as arresting a further 50 000 people, it seems that the process continues unabated. Recent figures of 601 individuals arrested; 450 of them were accused of having Gulenist sympathies. Amid such developments, it is no wonder that Chancellor Merkel has called for the scrapping of EU accession talks for Turkey.

I personally have long questioned the merits of Turkey’s accession to the European Union, and it seems now that such questions are coming to a head.

Last updated: 14 December 2017Legal notice