21 Nov 16

Turkey’s Relentless Crackdown Tests EU’s Patience

As the Turkish government continues jailing its opponents, relations with Brussels are feeling the strain.

BIRN Team BIRN Istanbul and Ankara
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service/AP

Brussels may impose economic sanctions on Turkey if the authorities continue the current ‘witch-hunt’ against the opposition, and it could abandon membership talks if Ankara restores the death penalty, EU officials have warned.

“We as the EU will have to consider which economic measures we can take,” the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said at the weekend.  

He added that if Turkey reinstates the death penalty, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated he wishes to, the EU would have no option but to end accession talks.

The statements are the strongest warning yet sent to Erdogan whose government continues to conduct a harsh crackdown on alleged organizers of a failed coup in July.

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