Halting Turkey's EU Accession Talks 'Completely Wrong' - German FM Gabriel

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Berlin said it would be completely wrong to suspend talks on Turkey's EU membership.

BERLIN (Sputnik) — Germany is opposed to putting the negotiations on Turkey's potential membership of the European Union on hold, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday.

"We believe that halting the negotiations is a completely wrong reaction," Gabriel said ahead of the informal meeting of the EU member states’ foreign ministers in Malta.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a rally for the upcoming referendum, in Izmir, Turkey, April 9, 2017. - Sputnik International
Erdogan: Turkish Referendum Results Victory Against 'Crusaders'
On Wednesday, a number of members of the European Parliament called on Brussels to halt the talks on Turkey’s accession to the European Union, citing the outcome of the recent Turkish constitutional referendum on expansion of presidential powers, as well as the "unfair" way it was conducted, as some of the causes for their concern.

The association agreement between Turkey and the then European Community was signed in 1963, which was then followed by Turkey's submission of a membership application in 1987. Talks on Ankara's membership of the European Union began in 2005 but have been repeatedly suspended due to various obstacles, including the failed July 2016 coup attempt.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a Women's Day rally in Istanbul, Turkey, March 5, 2017 - Sputnik International
Erdogan: 'Europe Will Answer for Their Treatment of Turks Following Referendum'
Earlier in April, a number of EU politicians said that the issue of Turkey’s EU membership was no longer on the bloc's immediate agenda after the outcome of the country's referendum, as well as other issues, such as the possible reinstatement of capital punishment.

The referendum on expansion of the president’s powers took place in Turkey on April 16, with over 51 percent of voters supporting the proposed amendments that would transition the government from a parliamentary to presidential system. The opposition had demanded that the referendum results be canceled, but the Supreme Electoral Council (SEC) rejected the appeal and approved the final results of the vote.

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