European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday that the Turkish government is providing the basis for its EU accession negotiations to collapse by distancing itself from the European Union.
Speaking at the European Parliament on Wednesday, Junker said Turkey will not become a member of the bloc in the foreseeable future as Ankara has for some considerable time been moving away from the European Union in leaps and bounds.
He said the attitude of the country’s government “rules out EU membership for Turkey in the foreseeable future.”
Criticizing the Turkish government for arresting Turkish and foreign journalists, Junker blamed Ankara for strained relations with some EU member countries and urged Turkish leaders to stop calling those EU states fascists and Nazis.
On Tuesday European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn also criticized Turkey and said there is an urgent need for the negative trend in Turkey to be reversed for the reciprocal engagement between Turkey and the EU to be sustainable.
“The high representative and I made it clear to all Turkish counterparts that there is an urgent need for the current trend to be reversed if we want our reciprocal engagement to be sustainable. This goes for the domestic situation, with continued dismissals, suspensions and arrests but equally so for bilateral relations between Turkey and some EU member states.”
Turkey’s relations with a number of EU member states have become strained due to human rights violations and arrests in Turkey following a failed coup last year.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.