Greece warns ending EU talks with Turkey a mistake
THESSALONIKI - Agence France-Presse
Halting accession talks with Turkey would be a strategic mistake by the European Union, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sept. 10, amid a war of words raging between Berlin and Ankara.
During a recent election debate, both Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democratic rival Martin Schulz endorsed ending Turkey’s EU accession talks.
Ties between the two nations have become strained since last year’s failed coup attempt.
Relations further deteriorated after the detention of several German citizens including Deniz Yücel, a correspondent for the Die Welt newspaper.
But Tsipras said “ending Turkey’s accession talks would be a strategic mistake that would maybe benefit only for [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan.”
Turkey is an important regional power and should remain engaged, added Tsipras, but also called on Turkey to respect international law and stop provocations.
While Greece and Turkey have long had difficult relations, ties between Athens and Berlin have frayed in recent years over the terms of Greece’s international bailouts as Germany has insisted on spending cuts and tax hikes and objected to providing any considerable debt relief.