The Strategist

The EU suggests imposing economic sanctions on Turkey

11/08/2016 - 14:17

Relations between Turkey and the European Union have undergone a new test. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, one of countries - founders of the EU, Jean Asselborn threated Ankara with sanctions for arrest of opposition MPs from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party. In turn, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that the Europeans stop interfering in internal affairs of his country, and reiterated that Ankara's policy regarding "supporters of terrorists" will always be tough.

Debacle of the parliamentary opposition angered the US and the EU. Recall that last Friday, the Turkish prosecutor's office arrested 12 deputies from pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party (DPN), including its co-chairmen Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag. They were accused of "incitement to civil disobedience" and in having relation to terrorist groups. "Extreme concern" over the arrests sounded from Spokesman for the White House Josh Ernest, Spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry Romain Nadal, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, and Head of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. According to the latter, Ankara's actions call into question relationship between the EU and Turkey.

Yesterday, Head of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn has made an unprecedentedly harsh statement. He assumed that the EU would introduce economic sanctions against Ankara. The minister recalled that 50% of Turkey's exports is currently going to the EU, and Turkish economy receives 60% of the investment from the union. "This is an unlimited means of pressure, and we will not give up its use at some point," - said Mr. Asselborn. Foreign Minister of Luxembourg compared actions of Ankara with Nazi methods during the Third Reich. He specified his word with the fact that after the failed July coup, the Turkish security forces arrested more than 110 thousand people. Those released from detention, have been deprived of a chance to get a job because their names were published in departmental newsletters.

Mr. Erdogan also went off the Europeans for supporting outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK; the country’s authorities suspect DPN in having links with them). "Europe is an accomplice of terrorism", - said President. According to Erdogan, the detained parliamentarians from the Kurdish DPN should be tried as terrorists. Yesterday, the Turkish leader, speaking to the students, said: "The West has done nothing good for Turkey, which has been waiting at EU doors for 53 years".

People’s Democratic Party called the arrest of their leaders "the end of democracy in Turkey" in a statement. "This is a black day, not only for our party, but for the whole of Turkey and our region", - the document says. DPN faction has suspended work in the parliament, where the party has 59 seats out of 550. Thousands of Kurds take to the streets to march in protest in German cities, including Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt. Around 20 thousand Kurds gathered on a square in center of Paris and called on the French authorities not to turn a blind eye on "repressions of Erdogan’s regime."