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EU-Turkey relations

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Published on Dec 1, 2016

I have had concerns about the direction of travel of Turkey for many years, particularly since the AK Party took power in 2003, Following his inauguration as President and the subsequent attempted coup, we find President Erdoğan on an increasingly authoritarian trajectory, now with the arrest of journalists and opposition MPs.

His latest comments suggesting that Turkey, a NATO member state, could join the non-democratic China and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Council, highlights my concerns. And this coming so soon after he railed against inaction at the UN Security Council over Syria, where he supports Jihadi insurgents. Let us remind ourselves that it is his friend Russia, Mr Putin, and China that have done most to prevent any action on Syria at the UN Security Council.

It is clearer than ever that President Erdoğan does not seek to lead a Turkey that is capable of meeting the democratic and rule-of-law criteria for EU membership. Bearing in mind the crucial relationship that exists between Turkey and the European Union, it is perhaps now time that a new framework for relations be considered. Sadly, the EU- Turkish relationship was a key issue during the Brexit referendum campaign and helped to deliver a Brexit result – very sad indeed.

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