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Kılıçdaroğlu: EP decision due to lack of rule of law, democratic standards

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Thursday that the European Parliament’s vote to freeze membership negotiations with Turkey is the result of a lack of rule of law, democratic standards and human rights in Turkey.

“Negotiations will take place. This is a very heavy sanction. The rest will follow economically, and politically as well,” said Kılıçdaroğlu in Antalya in his first remarks after the EP decision on Thursday.

In a speech on Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the vote by the European Parliament on whether to halt EU membership talks with Ankara “has no value in our eyes” and again accused Europe of siding with terrorist organizations.

The European Parliament has voted to suspend Turkey’s EU membership talks because of the Turkish government’s disproportionate response to a failed military coup attempt that took place on July 15.

A total of 479 deputies voted in favor of imposing a “temporary freeze” on the talks with Turkey while 37 deputies voted against the non-binding resolution.

Turkey’s EU accession talks began in 2005, but only one of the 35 policy areas – called “chapters” – has been closed. A country is ready to join the EU only when it has met the criteria in all 35 chapters.

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