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[UPDATE] EP Rapporteur Piri: EU should immediately freeze talks with Turkey

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After the European Commission presented its enlargement report including the annual Turkey report on Wednesday, European Parliament (EP) Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri said the EU has to immediately freeze accession talks until the Turkish government returns to the path of respect for the rule of law and human rights.

Piri, who already suggested the suspension of talks after the arrest of Kurdish deputies on Friday, said that in the face of severe violations of freedom of expression and a massive purge that has resulted in the dismissal of more than 100,000 people, it is clear that Turkey has been moving away from the EU.

However, as a deputy from the Socialists & Democrats from the European Parliament, Piri said the S&D Group remains committed to keeping Turkey anchored to the EU but that the Turkish government is shutting the door to the European Union.

In an exchange of tweets on Twitter on Wednesday with Turkish deputy prime minister Mehmet Şimşek, Piri criticized the arrest of 10 pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) deputies in a government orchestrated investigation last week.

Piri first replied to a Twitter user who shared a photo showing 82 percent of an internet poll in a Turkish website supported the arrest of HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, saying “Rule of law is not rule by surveys or popular opinion.”

Later, Şimşek replied to Piri’s tweet saying “That’s true! But, where does rule of law allow support for terrorism & refusal to comply with court order? ”

At the end, Piri reacted against the arrest of HDP deputies saying “If refusal to comply with court order, why detain MPs collectively like a gang of criminals in the middle of the night? And why the arrests? ”

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