Austria: Turkey “buried” own EU membership

The European Union should end talks over Turkey’s 30-year-old bid to join the bloc after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a controversial referendum on gaining further powers, according to Austrian leaders.

“[Turkey’s] membership prospects are buried, in practical terms,” said Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern.

“We are entering a new era,” the Social Democrat told reporters in Vienna. He also said that EU aid to Turkey to help it advance towards membership was now “obsolete,” he added.

As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz was also quick to comment after the Turkish referendum. “We must be honest about the relationship between the EU and Turkey,” Kurz said in a tweet.

“We need to end the EU entry negotiations and instead work to establish a neighbourhood agreement” with Turkey, he said, referring to relations that are close but lie below full membership.

The April 16 referendum focussed on a proposal to reinforce the powers of the Turkish president – a move that critics say may worsen the country’s rights record and steer it towards dictatorship.


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