Incoming European Commission chief says Turkey made no progress for EU membership

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PHOTO: BBC

Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming European Commission president, said on Tuesday that Turkey has not made progress on key conditions to allow it to become a member of the European Union.

“As regards Turkey, I have not seen this progress in the last years. On the contrary … Turkey needs to show that it wants to be closer to European values, to European rules, the rule of law, liberty and fundamental values,” she told a news conference at which she announced her future team of commissioners.

The European Parliament (EP) in March voted in favor of formally suspending EU accession talks with Turkey, citing severe political and democratic backsliding under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to Deutsche Welle.

Lawmakers passed the symbolic nonbinding resolution with 370 votes in favor, 109 against, and 143 abstentions.

“The European Parliament remains seriously concerned about Turkey’s poor track record in upholding human rights, the rule of law, media freedom and the fight against corruption as well as its all-powerful presidential system,” the Strasbourg-based body said in a statement.

The EP on July 16 elected von der Leyen as the first female European Commission chief with 383 votes in favor. Her term in office will start on Nov. 1.

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