Germany: Turkey is 'further from European Union membership than ever'

"What Hans and George say is not important for me", he said, using two common European names.

Gabriel disliked that idea because he thought it would make Turks feel like second-class Europeans but he said his opinion had changed since Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Turkey and Europe are locked in a diplomatic crisis after Germany and the Netherlands blocked Turkish ministers from campaigning for a "yes" vote in the April 16 referendum, which opponents fear will create one-man rule.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is courting Turks overseas for support in a referendum due to be held on 16 April that would reform Turkey's parliamentary democracy into an executive presidency, similar to the United States. Erdogan accused the Netherlands and Germany of behaving like "Nazis", and subsequently, calling on millions of Turks in Europe to take action. I'm telling you Europe, do you have that courage?

Last weekend, just days before the Dutch election, police in Rotterdam used horses and dogs to disperse pro-Erdogan protesters demonstrating against the ban on Turkish ministers.

According to a Turkish Interior Ministry report, which was released on February, the total number of refugees in Turkey is now over 3.5 million and Turkey has spent more than 25 million United States dollars on looking after refugees up until now.

Germany has threatened Turkish politicians with a ban on public appearance.

Der Spiegel reported that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had promised German Chancellor Angela Merkel consular access to Yucel in a telephone call on March 4 but Ankara had not followed up on the promise.

After the arrests of journalists and academics, and detention of tens of thousands in the wake of a failed coup last summer in Turkey, along with a suggestion of restoring the death penalty, the European Union has been very critical of human rights violations infuriating Ankara, exhausted of being kept waiting at the EU's doorstep for decades.

But Turkish ministers and Mr Erdogan have said they need to respond to popular demand for the restoration of capital punishment to deal with the ringleaders of the July 15 coup bid.

But Cavusoglu's remarks on TV 24 channel came only three days before the one-year anniversary of a deal brokered between Brussels and Ankara that would allow for irregular migrants in Greece, the starting point of the trek to northern Europe, to be returned to Turkey in exchange for Syrian refugees hosted on Turkish soil. Let us remind you that you can not play games in this region and ignore Turkey, ' he added.

  • Leroy Wright


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