Austria calls for EU to get tough on Turkey
VIENNA - BERLINAustrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said on Nov. 7 that the EU should change its stance on Turkey following the government’s recent measures and stop the flow of billions of euros in aid if Ankara fails to stick to its migrants deal with the bloc, AFP has reported.
Kurz told Oe1 radio that Turkey must “top the agenda” of an upcoming meeting of EU foreign ministers on Nov. 14, which should agree a “different EU policy.”
“Over recent years Turkey has moved further and further away from the EU, but our policy has remained the same. That can’t work. What we need are clear consequences,” he said.
“In Turkey, opposition figures are being arrested, journalists are being persecuted, officials are being fired if they think differently and the return of the death penalty is being talked about,” he added.
Stopping the funds “is the logical consequence ... It is quite clear that this money will not flow if Turkey does not stick to its side of the deal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Luxembourg’s foreign minister Jean Asselborn said yesterday that the Turkish government’s handling of dismissed civil servants reminded him of “methods used by the Nazis,” adding that the EU would have to respond with sanctions “sooner or later.”
Asselborn also noted that many academics in Turkey had been stripped of their university positions and were left with no income. Some dismissed teachers who were the sole breadwinners have complained of being unable to feed their families, according to him.
“To put it bluntly, these are methods that were used during the Nazi era and that’s a really, really bad development ... that the EU simply cannot accept,” Asselborn said.
He suggested imposing economic sanctions, pointing out that 50 percent of Turkey’s exports go to the EU and 60 percent of investment in Turkey comes from the bloc:
“At a certain point in time, we won’t have any choice but to apply it [sanctions] to counteract the unbearable human rights situation,” he added.