Turkey’s European Union Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik said on Monday that any talk of ending his country’s negotiations for EU accession amounts to an “attack on Europe’s founding principles.”
Responding to recent remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) leader Martin Schulz on Sunday night saying that Turkey should not join the EU, Çelik said in series of tweets on Monday, “They are building a Berlin wall with bricks of populism.”
Turkey will “keep going with its head held high as a European country and a European democracy,” he said.
During a television debate with Schulz, her Social Democratic rival in elections later this month, Merkel said, “The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU.”
Schulz said he would stop Turkey’s bid to join the EU if he were to be elected chancellor.
Merkel also added that she would speak with her EU counterparts to see if the EU can end accession talks with Turkey.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesman İbrahim Kalın on Monday criticized the remarks made by Merkel and Schulz, saying the anti-Erdoğan stance in Europe has become a means of comfort for Europeans.
“The opposition to Turkey in Europe has become a means of comforting themselves through which they can ignore fundamental problems and define themselves via an ‘other’ enemy. Those societies that define themselves through an enemy can never find their identities,” he said.