EU-Turkey relations at a crossroads
Tensions between the EU and Turkey are growing: the European Parliament has called for the suspension of accession talks with Ankara and public appearances by Turkish politicians in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria have been banned. Are the EU countries burning the last bridges with Turkey?
The EU is simply doing it's duty
Karar shows understanding for the European Parliament's decision:
“The MEPs must take public opinion in their home countries into account, and in recent years Turkey's reputation has been seriously damaged. On the other hand no one wants Turkey to turn its back definitively on the EU. … The fact that this resolution is not binding for now made the decision easier for the Parliament. In this way it has adopted a stance that corresponds to society's expectations while at the same time putting the ball in the state leaders' court. The latter are very likely also satisfied with the situation because it gives them a trump card against Turkey in future negotiations.”
Don't let dialogue break down
Seeking confrontation with Turkey will achieve little, NRC Handelsblad argues:
“From the European and the Dutch perspective it is vital to stay in dialogue with Turkey. The country, which still has the status of a candidate for EU accession, is well on its way to becoming an authoritarian and repressive state. The arrests of government critics continue. … At the same time the masses who participated in the March for Justice demonstrated that there is another Turkey. … President Erdoğan is a master at creating bogus enemies, and the Netherlands and Germany are well suited to playing this role. Both countries should avoid giving Erdoğan the chance to confirm this image.”