Merkel favors continuing EU talks with Turkey

Merkel favors continuing EU talks with Turkey

Merkel favors continuing EU talks with Turkey

AP Photo

As an upcoming Nov. 24 European Parliament vote on the status of EU-Turkey talks heats up the debate on Turkey’s stalled accession to the 28-member bloc, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed continued dialogue while criticizing Ankara.

During a general debate at the German Parliament on Nov. 23, Merkel said there can be “no justifying” attacks on on freedom of the press or thousands of arrests in Turkey after the July 15 coup attempt, but stressed that channels of communication must remain open. 

“I will keep talks going with Turkey … That does not rule out a clear response to what is alarmingly in view,” she added.

Merkel also firmly rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent accusations that Germany is not playing a sufficient role in combatting terrorism.

Erdoğan has repeatedly accused European countries, particularly singling out Germany and Belgium, of harboring the members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, the main suspect behind the bloody coup attempt.