Austrian Chancellor: EU Could Never Digest Turkey Joining — “Turkey has crossed almost all red lines”

BERLIN — Austria’s chancellor says the European Union could “never, ever” digest the economic impact of Turkey joining, underlining his country’s hard line against membership.

Austria has been among Ankara’s most outspoken critics in the 28-nation EU and argued for freezing membership talks with Turkey.

Chancellor Christian Kern told Thursday’s edition of German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that “it must be legitimate to say: ‘You simply are not a membership candidate’.” He added that Austria has advanced not only arguments about the state of Turkish democracy but also economic ones.

Kern said: “In purely economic terms, Europe could never, ever digest Turkey’s accession. How is that supposed to work?”

He also said that “Turkey has crossed almost all red lines” on issues such as its treatment of journalists and lawmakers.

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Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern said in an article published on Tuesday that Turkey’s EU membership is impossible and the extension of the customs union is only possible if Turkey meets certain legal requirements.

Image result for Chancellor Christian Kern, photos

Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern

“I believe that EU membership is excluded and an extension of the customs union is only conceivable if Turkey meets tough legal requirements,” Kern said to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

Kern said that the extension of the scope of the customs union is only possible if Turkey takes necessary steps to get closer to Europe.

“There is no foundation for the extension of the customs union as long as trials are being carried out against the journalists of Cumhuriyet, or members of the opposition, such as opposition politician Enis Berberoğlu, who have been sentenced to long-term imprisonment,” Kern added.

The first hearing in the case of 17 executives and journalists from the Cumhuriyet newspaper, accused of aiding a terrorist group opened in an Istanbul court on Sunday.

The defendants are accused of helping spread propaganda of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which the government blames for last year’s bloody coup attempt on July 15 and other terrorism-related offenses.

Kern further indicated that the EU is much less dependent on the partnership than Turkey is.

Highlighting that most direct investment come to Turkey from the West, Kern said: “Against this backdrop you can see how the development in Turkey would take place if the West were to withdraw.”

Turkey has prepared a comprehensive file for the reorganization of the customs union agreement signed with the EU 21 years ago. The update of the customs union agreement is expected to expand Turkey’s network of free trade agreements (FTAs) and offer new market opportunities for exporters.

Speaking at a joint press conference on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that the dialogue between Turkey and the European Union needs to continue despite having several setbacks.

Responding to criticism over Turkey’s anti-terrorism operations, he said: “If we do not differentiate democratic opposition from those supporting terrorism, then that’s where the problem begins. You should identify this well.”

https://www.dailysabah.com/eu-affairs/2017/07/27/austrian-chancellor-eu-membership-impossible-for-turkey

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2 Responses to “Austrian Chancellor: EU Could Never Digest Turkey Joining — “Turkey has crossed almost all red lines””

  1. Brittius Says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius and commented:
    Since when, in history, could Turkey, ever be trusted?

  2. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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