European Parliament's vote to halt accession process ‘meaningless, worthless’: Turkey
Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül
Speaking at an event hosted by the ministry, Abdulhamit Gül said the report is “worthless” for Turkey.
"Turkey expects the new European Parliament, to be formed after the elections in May, will adopt a constructive approach to the Turkey-EU relations in the upcoming period, take qualified and objective decisions and boost Turkey's EU integration process," the ministry added.
Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee head Volkan Bozkır also condemned the decision, describing it as "groundless" and said the European Parliament has showed its “bias and prejudice” against Turkey.
"Turkey's deep-rooted and multidimensional relations with the EU contributed and is still contributing to the EU in many aspects," Bozkır said.
He also said far-right political movements in Europe disclosed the prejudiced attitude against Turkey with a report which contains "baseless claims" that do not reflect reality.
EP report on Turkey
A total of 370 members of the EP voted in favor of the decision to suspend Turkey's EU negotiations while 109 voted against and 143 abstained from voting.
The non-binding advisory report, however, also praised Turkey's efforts in hosting refugees.
"Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world, with more than 3 million registered refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan," the report noted.
The report noted that visa liberalization is of great importance for Turkish citizens, particularly for students, academics, business representatives and people with family ties in EU Member States.
The report expressed its firm condemnation of the return to violence on the part of the illegal PKK and recalled that the group has been on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2002. The PKK is also listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and the United States.
Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005. But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France.