Ankara challenges talk of EU economic sanctions: Do whatever you can

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) welcomes Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before a meeting in Ankara, on November 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu lambasted European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz on Sunday over his remarks that economic sanctions on Turkey are being considered, saying that the EU can do whatever it is able to do.

“EP President Martin Schulz’s threatening remarks do not have any impact [on us]. Schulz should stop PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] activities in the European Parliament. If he is able to, he should speak out against terrorist activities,” said Çavuşoğlu during a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart. Wang Yi. in Ankara.

“They can do whatever they are able to do in terms of economic sanctions. We see double standards and hypocrisy on the part of the EU and the EP president. Not only us, but our people see it as well.”

“China also knows the hypocrisy of those who try to teach us about democracy and human rights,” added Çavuşoğlu.

Speaking to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday, Schulz confirmed rumors in Brussels that EU leaders at their summit in December could opt for economic sanctions in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ongoing crackdown on dissent, instead of terminating  EU accession talks.

“We as the EU will have to consider which economic measures we can take.” said Schulz.

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