The leaders of the European Parliament’s two largest groups called on Tuesday for the European Union to halt membership talks with Turkey because of its post-coup purges.

“Our message to Turkey is very clear: accession negotiations should be frozen immediately,” said Manfred Weber, the head of the largest faction in the European Parliament, the centre-right European People’s Party.

He was echoed by Gianni Pitella, the leader of the socialist group, the parliament’s second biggest: “We want to freeze the accession talks.”

 More than 110,000 people in Turkey – including soldiers, academics, judges, journalists and Kurdish leaders – have been suspended from their positions or dismissed over their alleged backing for the plotters of a failed military coup in July.Some 36,000 have been arrested and media outlets have been shut.

“Turkey under Mr Erdogan is more and more drifting towards an authoritarian regime,” Pitella said, referring to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

“Our political message towards Turkey is that human rights, civil rights, democracy are non negotiable if you want to be part of the EU.

 

Source: European lawmakers call for end to Turkey EU membership talks | Reuters

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