Turkey backslides on road to EU membership
The European Union voiced grave concern about Turkey’s crackdown on opponents since a failed July coup in a highly critical report yesterday.
The report made clear that Ankara’s prospects of joining the bloc have become ever more distant.
Turkey had rolled back the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression and other fundamental democratic standards since the coup attempt, the EU said in its most hard-hitting annual report on the country’s long-running membership bid.
“The coup attempt of July 15 was an attack on democracy per se. Given the seriousness of the situation, a swift reaction to the threat was legitimate,” the EU’s top enlargement official, Johannes Hahn, said.
“Turkey as a candidate country must fulfil the highest standards in the field of the rule of law and fundamental rights. In this year’s report we therefore stress Turkey’s backsliding in the area of rule of law and fundamental rights.”
The report risks further damaging the EU’s relations with a country it is relying on to restrict the flow of migrants and refugees from Syria and elsewhere.