Turkish PM calls EP resolution unimportant and not binding

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Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim speaks during a press conference on July 3, 2017 in Ankara. The government sealed the collective bargaining deal with the union confederation of public workers and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Ankara on July 3. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said that the approval of a resolution in the European Parliament (EP) that calls for the freezing of EU accession talks with Turkey was unimportant and not binding, the t24 news website reported on Thursday.

The resolution calling for the freezing of membership negotiations with Turkey if Ankara implements a constitutional overhaul, backed by a referendum in April, was adopted with a large majority of votes in the EP on Thursday.

Yıldırım, who argued that it was an unimportant decision, said similar decisions were made in the past but that there was no diversion on Turkey’s path to the European Union.

The EU has to define its future vision and decide whether it will walk together with Turkey or not. Our president met with EU officials on May 25 for the NATO summit. They decided on a one-month roadmap to revive the full accession process. … Parliaments can agree on such decisions from time to time. Those decisions are the initiatives of the parliamentarians. We care about the will of the EU administration, the thoughts of the leaders of EU countries, the thoughts of top EU executives,” said Yıldırım.

The resolution, proposed by Turkey rapporteur for the European Parliament Kati Piri, “calls on the Commission and the member states, in accordance with the Negotiating Framework, to formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged.”

The decision was grounded on the incompatibility of the reform package with the principle of separation of powers and the Copenhagen criteria.

A total of 638 out of 751 MEPs attended the vote, with 477 voting in favor of the resolution, while 64 rejected it and 94 abstained.

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