As several European Union institutions and politicians continue to express concern over an ongoing purge in Turkey following an attempted coup on July 15, the EU stated on Tuesday that no new chapters would be opened in membership negotiations with Turkey.
While Austria opted for a complete freezing of talks with Turkey, the other members chose to sign a statement that effectively stalls the already paused negotiations.
“Under the currently prevailing circumstances, no new chapters are considered for opening,” said the EU presidency in a statement.
Especially since the acceleration of a massive crackdown on media and opponents in Turkey immediately following the July 15 coup attempt, several political groups within the European Parliament had suggested freezing talks with Turkey, which has been a candidate country since 2005.
Only one of the 35 required chapters has been completed to date, although 16 have been opened.
The relations between Turkey and the EU have become increasingly strained in the face of the latter’s criticism of violations of the rule of law and media freedoms and a possible reinstatement of the death penalty, which was abolished in 2004 as part of EU requirements.