The European Commission said on Tuesday that the Turkish government was undermining its economy, shrinking democracy and destroying independent courts, making Ankara’s bid to join the European Union further than ever.
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The executive body of the European Union blamed the deteriorating situation in the areas of freedom of expression, prisons, and the Central Bank for the “over-centralization” of the presidential authority and said that the government is also exposing Turkey to “rapid changes in investor morale”.
Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu responded to the criticism and confirmed that Ankara She has not departed from the European Union and remains committed to the EU accession process.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said, in a statement, that the report issued, on Tuesday, by the Commission, is “biased and not constructive at all”.
The ministry added, “We sincerely hope that the European Union does not view the candidate country of Turkey through the limited and selfish interests of some circles, but rather through the greater and common interests of our continent and our common vision”.
The ministry stressed that the parts of the report on tensions in the eastern Mediterranean “tarnished the reputation of objectivity” of the commission, adding that Ankara is acting in accordance with democratic standards and international laws.
“Turkey has not reliably addressed the serious concerns of the European Union regarding the continuing negative developments in the rule of law, fundamental rights and the judiciary,” the Commission said in its annual report on Turkey.
The ministry said, “Turkey’s accession negotiations to the European Union have effectively reached a dead end”.
Turkey, a member of NATO, has been negotiating its accession to the European Union since 2005 after economic and political reforms that made it an important trading partner and emerging market.
Although the talks were not easy at all due to Turkey’s disputed demands on Cyprus, they quickly collapsed after the attempted coup in Turkey in July 2016 and the subsequent suppression by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of those he considered opponents.
“The dangerous decline observed in Turkey since the attempted coup in 2016 has continued,” the commission said.
Turkey then faced scathing reports from the commission over the years, and the commission again intensified its criticism, citing monetary policy, public administration and rampant corruption as failures of the Turkish government.
The European Union is the largest foreign investor in Turkey, and despite its dependence on Turkey to host about four million Syrians who fled the civil war instead of allowing them to go to Europe, Brussels has repeated its threat to impose economic sanctions on Ankara due to an energy dispute in the eastern Mediterranean.
European Union leaders agreed last week to consider imposing sanctions on Turkey if it continued to explore for oil and gas in waters over which Greece and Cyprus claim sovereignty.
“In the event of renewed unilateral actions or provocations that violate international law… the European Union will use all the tools and options available to it,” the report said.