EU lawmakers back calls to suspend Turkey accession

Baku, July 6, AZERTAC

The European Parliament has backed a report calling on EU member states to suspend Turkey's accession talks if constitutional changes endorsed in an April 16 referendum go ahead, according to Anadolu Agency.

Lawmakers on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the 2016 Commission Report on Turkey, voting 477 to 64 in favor. Almost 100 lawmakers abstained in the vote, which is non-binding.

However, Turkey’s EU minister said the parliament had “no right to make such a call” and demanded lawmakers “respect the will of the Turkish people”.

Among other things, the report calls on member states to "formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged".

This is a reference to the collection of wide-ranging constitutional proposals approved by the Turkish electorate in April.

The report also calls on EU institutions to suspend pre-accession funds if negotiations with Turkey are suspended.

Speaking after the vote, EU Minister Omer Celik told reporters in Ankara it was not a democratic attitude to demand changes to a constitutional decision approved by a referendum.

He added Turkey’s reforms would be "implemented unchanged".

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