Halting Turkey's EU accession talks would be suicide, EU Minister Çelik says

Published 25.10.2017 11:11
Updated 25.10.2017 11:15
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The European Union's decision to halt or pause Turkey's accession talks would be "suicide," EU Minister Ömer Çelik said Wednesday.

Çelik told Anadolu Agency's Editor's Desk that such decision would only imply that the EU is unable to solve its own problems.

He noted that blocking the EU's Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) does not mean anything for Turkey and that mentioning this only discredits the EU.

Germany has recently urged the bloc to cut IPA funding for Turkey, but stopping such payments requires a joint decision by member states to freeze or stop accession talks with the country.

Çelik also touched upon Austria's anti-Turkey stance, saying that he cannot possibly explain it through a political analysis.

"Austria's obsession with Turkey has become a psychiatric obsession," Çelik said.

Austrian politicians have consistently said that Turkey should never become a part of the bloc, while former Foreign Minister and incoming Chancellor Sebastian Kurz prevented the entry of Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci into the country to attend a coup anniversary event in July.

The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Germany also canceled meetings of some Turkish ministers and politicians, which they planned as part of their 'Yes' campaigns ahead of the constitutional reform referendum.

Turkey has strongly condemned the bans by European countries for contradicting the principles of democracy and freedom of expression, which these countries claim to be a significant part of their identity.

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