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EP’s Piri says suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey a big step closer

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Kati Piri, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey, on Tuesday said the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to reopen political monitoring of Turkey makes suspension of EU accession talks a big step closer.

“After clear decision by Council of Europe to put Turkey under monitoring, now suspension of EU accession talks big step closer,” Piri said in a Twitter message commenting on the PACE decision.

“Turkey back under monitoring in CoE due to serious problems with fundamental rights!” added Piri.

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

PACE on Tuesday decided to reopen political monitoring of Turkey “until its concerns are addressed in a satisfactory manner.”

The assembly gathered Tuesday in Strasbourg in a session to discuss a report titled “The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey,” during which 113 voted in favor, while 45 voted against the monitoring decision.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday reacted against the PACE decision, saying Turkey will not recognize it.

Erdoğan also said he was “ready to take the question of EU accession to a referendum” and that “Turkey cannot wait indefinitely after 54 years at the door.”

Johannes Hahn, the European commissioner for neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, on Monday urged EU governments to consider changing its relationship with Turkey after the referendum.

“The current situation is not sustainable,” Hahn said.

EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss the issue when they meet in Malta on April 28.

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