CSU leader Seehofer demands EU cut financial aid to Turkey

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, party leader of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU), and the Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer (R) speak during an election campaign event in Bayreuth, southern Germany, on August 24, 2017. -- / AFP PHOTO / Christof Stache

Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), has asked Brussels to cut off European Union financial aid for Ankara and to not disburse the 4.2 billion euros it had promised.

Seehofer, speaking to the German press, said a new provocation came from Ankara every week and that all financial aid aiming to support Turkey’s EU membership accession process must be immediately stopped.

Volker Kauder, leader of the conservative bloc in Parliament, harshly criticized Turkey on Sunday during a meeting of his party, the CDU, and said Turkey was far from European values and that there was no freedom of religion in Turkey.

Referring to jailed German nationals in Turkey, Cem Özdemir, co-chair of the Green Party, said a stricter attitude should be adopted towards Ankara.

Guenther Oettinger, European commissioner for budget and human resources, recently said he expects billions of euros in aid to bring Turkey closer to the EU to be suspended due to the Turkish government’s crackdown on opponents following a failed coup in July 2016.

Oettinger said the 4.3 billion euro ($5.1 billion) fund, including aid to train judges and prosecutors, scheduled to continue until 2020, might be suspended.

Turkey has been criticized by Germany and several other EU members due to Erdoğan’s crackdown on opponents, including journalists and human rights defenders, in the wake of the botched coup attempt last year.

Erdoğan increased his presidential powers after a referendum in April, claiming that it is necessary to protect Turkey’s security from its domestic and foreign enemies.

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