European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz said economic sanctions on Turkey are being considered as tension between the European Union and Ankara is increasing due Turkey’s state of emergency practices, Deutsche Welle reported.
Speaking to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Schulz confirmed rumors in Brussels that the EU leaders at their summit in December could opt for economic sanctions in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’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,” he said.
Schulz also underlined that breaking off talks with Turkey would rob the EU of the channels needed to help the opposition in Turkey and the tens of thousands of people held in detention since a failed coup in July.
The EP president said, however, that should Turkey under Erdoğan reintroduce the death penalty — in breach of its obligations within the 47-nation Council of Europe — then accession negotiations “would be ended.”
Since the signing of the customs union in 1995, the deal on duty-free trade in industrial products has made the EU Turkey’s biggest trading partner.