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Turkiye says EU is 'unjust and biased' on membership bid

November 9, 2023 at 8:42 am

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Beirut, Lebanon on October 17, 2023 [Turkish Foreign Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

The European Commission’s annual report on Turkiye’s long-stalled EU membership bid is “unjust and biased”, the Turkish foreign ministry has said.

Reuters has reported that the report by the European Union’s executive arm on Wednesday criticised Turkiye’s “serious backsliding” on democratic standards, the rule of law, human rights and judicial independence.

The Commission also said Turkiye did not comply with the principles of the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms in its fight against terrorism.

“We categorically reject unfounded claims and unjust criticisms, particularly on the political criteria and the Chapter on Judiciary and Fundamental Rights,” said the ministry in Ankara. It described the allegations as unfair and highlighted “the insincerity of the EU’s approach and a clear double-standard,” adding that fundamental rights issues were contentious even among EU member states.

The Commission’s report is meant to update Turkiye’s progress towards meeting standards for EU membership, and could strain ties that are already troubled over immigration and, more recently, the war between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

Turkiye’s bid to join the EU has been frozen for years after having launched membership talks in 2005.

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