Turkey says European Commission is biased in country’s EU membership assessment

Mustafa Kamaci/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

Turkey dismissed a report by the European Commission as “biased, far from constructive”, saying Ankara rejected the criticisms directed at its economy, democracy and courts, and remained committed to the EU membership process.

The European Union’s executive said on Tuesday that Turkey’s government was undermining its economy, eroding democracy and destroying independent courts, leaving Ankara’s bid to join the EU further away than ever.

Blaming “excessively” centralised presidential power for deteriorating conditions in freedom of speech, prisons and the central bank, the European Commission said the government was also exposing Turkey to “rapid changes in investors’ sentiment”.

“The EU’s serious concerns on continued negative developments in the rule of law, fundamental rights and the judiciary have not been credibly addressed by Turkey,” the Commission said in its annual report on the country.

The European Union’s executive said on Tuesday that Turkey’s government was undermining its economy, eroding democracy and destroying independent courts, leaving Ankara’s bid to join the EU further away than ever.

Blaming “excessively” centralised presidential power for deteriorating conditions in freedom of speech, prisons and the central bank, the European Commission said the government was also exposing Turkey to “rapid changes in investors’ sentiment”.

“The EU’s serious concerns on continued negative developments in the rule of law, fundamental rights and the judiciary have not been credibly addressed by Turkey,” the Commission said in its annual report on the country.

“Turkey’s (EU) accession negotiations have effectively come to a standstill,” it said.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said sections of the report on tensions in the eastern Mediterranean smeared the Commission’s objectivity, adding that Ankara was acting in line with democratic norms and international laws.

“Our sincere wish is for the EU to look at candidate nation Turkey not through the narrow and selfish interests of some circles, but rather through our continent’s larger and common interests, common vision,” the ministry said.