EU Parliament Wants to Freeze Turkey Membership Talks

European flags in front of the Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European commission in Brussels.
European flags in front of the Berlaymont Building, headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels.

The European Union’s legislature is asking the bloc to freeze membership negotiations with Turkey over that government’s heavy-handed crackdown following a failed coup in July.

The European Parliament approved a nonbinding resolution Thursday asking the 28-nation EU “to initiate a temporary freeze” on talks with Ankara until “disproportionate measures under the state of emergency in Turkey are lifted.”

Anticipating the vote, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that his country’s “struggle for its stability and future won’t be interrupted by [European legislators’] raising and lowering their hands.”

Although the vote carries no immediate consequences, it underscores the increasing unease in Europe over Erdogan’s tightening grip on power in the wake of the coup attempt.  Tens of thousands of people, including teachers, journalists and opposition lawmakers, have been arrested or fired.