‘EP’s Turkey report is biased’: Justice minister

ANKARA

Turkey’s justice minister said on Thursday that the European Parliament’s vote to suspend Turkey’s EU accession process is biased and will go down in history as an example of Europe’s alienation from its own values. 

Speaking at an event hosted by the ministry, Abdulhamit Gul said the report is “worthless” for Turkey.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted against Turkey’s EU accession negotiations and called on the European countries to formally suspend the process.

A total of 370 members of the EP voted in favor of the decision to suspend Turkey’s EU negotiations while 109 voted against and 143 abstained from voting.

The 2018 Commission Report on Turkey had been prepared by rapporteur Kati Piri and voted in the European Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs on Feb. 21.

The non-binding advisory report drew reactions from Turkey.

The report, however, also praised Turkey’s efforts in hosting refugees.

“Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world, with more than 3 million registered refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,” the report noted.

The report noted that visa liberalization is of great importance for Turkish citizens, particularly for students, academics, business representatives and people with family ties in EU member states.

The report expressed its firm condemnation of the return to violence on the part of the PKK terrorist organization and recalled that the terrorist group has been on the EU list of terrorist organisations since 2002.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005.

But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France.

Writing By Buşra Nur Bilgic

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