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Germany rejects calls to end Turkey’s EU membership bid

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Germany on Friday rejected demands to terminate Turkey’s bid to join the European Union at a time when some EU states are saying Ankara’s membership dream ended when Turkey approved a constitutional reform package on April 16 that gave President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vast executive powers.

Some EU lawmakers called this week for a formal suspension of Turkey’s long-stalled EU bid, saying it does not meet democratic standards as the referendum result has increased their concerns about Erdoğan’s growing authoritarianism.

But German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday that such a step would be counterproductive.

“The German government is strictly against cancelling the [accession] talks, that would be totally the wrong reaction,” Gabriel told reporters as he arrived for a meeting in Malta.

“Those who would like to win applause at home because they say ‘We will not talk to Turkey any more’ will not change anything in Turkey,” he said.

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