EU Parliament halts membership talks for Turkey

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The European Parliament approved on Wednesday the suspension of talks for Turkish membership into the European Union.

Specifically, the proposal was put forward by the EU Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee advocating for the suspension of accession negotiations with Turkey, by 370 votes in favor, 109 against and 143 abstentions, prompting Ankara's immediate response.

"The European parliament's vote to suspend Turkey's EU accession process is worthless for us," Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman Omer Celik said on Wednesday, quoted by Anadolu news agency.

"This disrespectful decision shows European Parliament's far-right ideological tendency," Omer Celik wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile Greek main opposition conservative party New Democracy voted down the European Parliament's proposal to halt talks with Turkey earlier in Strasburg, adding, in a statement, that "the party did so bearing in mind that it actually agrees, in principle, with the European Parliament's hard stance and proposals against Turkey, as Greece benefits from such leverage against Ankara amidst the accession talks," says New Democracy.

The party statement continues, "As stated by the representative of New Democracy and MEP Maria Spyraki, who was present at the meeting, an a-la-carte EU-Turkey relationship can benefit European countries that have predominantly economic interests with Turkey, but it can probably benefit Turkey itself due to the influx of EU funding, even though it removes a powerful asset from Greece: the control of the accession process. If it is ultimately decided that we need to go to another kind of EU-Turkey relationship, it should be governed by terms and conditions equivalent to the terms and conditions of the accession negotiations."