Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has condemned the human rights violations in Turkey and called on Brussels to end any European Union discussions with Ankara.
“The talks on membership between the EU and Turkey should be ended taking into account the system systematic violations of human rights and essential democratic values, and because the Copenhagen Criteria [rules defining if the state is ready to join the European Union] are not implemented anymore,” said Kurz during an interview with Welt magazine.
The Austrian politician also said Turkey was still an important partner of the European Union and the ties between Ankara and Brussels should be maintained based on the policy of good neighbourliness.
Relations between Ankara and Brussels have deteriorated after the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016. Ankara has accused Europe of providing asylum for coup plotters, while Brussels has strongly criticised the detention of journalists and human rights activists in Turkey, and suspended the preparation of new chapters of Turkey’s accession negotiations with the European Union.
This all comes in the wake of the two Greek soldiers who have again been denied release by a Turkish court and may now be facing espionage charges.