Leading German politician Greens Co-chair Cem Özdemir has said Turkey cannot be a member of the European Union under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Deutsche Welle reported on Thursday.
Asking the EU to follow a realistic and value-based foreign policy, Özdemir opposed ending accession talks with Turkey to avoid disappointing pro-EU Turkish citizens in Turkey and instead suggested economic sanctions targeting Erdoğan.
“Turkey can’t be a member of the European Union under Erdoğan’s rule,” said Özdemir, calling on Germany not to sell arms to Turkey.
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.
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 a botched coup attempt last year. Erdoğan has 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.