Erdogan was good for Turkey
After their meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel declared that Turkey was interested in working together again "constructively" with the European Union. Michel named three areas in which Turkey could count on offers in the event of permanent de-escalation: In addition to cooperation on economic issues, cooperation in the area of migration is to be expanded and contacts between people are to be intensified. Von der Leyen also mentioned climate protection and the fight against the corona pandemic.
The two had traveled to Turkey to talk to President Erdogan about further steps after the EU summit. At the end of March, the EU heads of state and government promised Turkey closer economic cooperation and the first steps towards modernizing the customs union, after Ankara had largely refrained from provocations this year. The EU wants to connect with Turkey "in a graduated, proportionate and reversible manner", as Michel said. This does not rule out further or even tougher sanctions. It is particularly important to Brussels that Turkey seeks a constructive solution to conflicts with the EU countries Greece and Cyprus.
Michel and von der Leyen complained of setbacks in human rights policy and at the press conference, which took place without Erdogan, criticized Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on the Protection of Women from Violence. This is the "wrong signal", said von der Leyen, and Ankara is being urged to reverse the decision.
Lambsdorff calls a termination of the EU admission interviews "overdue"
It was heard from EU circles that Michel and von der Leyen had emphasized to Erdogan that such a "positive agenda" would only be accepted by European societies if the situation in Turkey with human and women's rights as well as press and media rights were correct Improve freedom of expression. Both praised the fact that Turkey has taken in around four million refugees from Syria. Following a visit by der Leyens to Jordan, which is scheduled for Wednesday, the Commission intends to present proposals soon as to how the EU can finance the care and schooling of refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
The visit of the top EU politicians to Ankara had previously been criticized by several members of the Bundestag. The Green Cem Özdemir complained on Twitter of "Brussels self-dwelling" and spoke of a "mockery for all democrats in Turkey". Alexander Graf Lambsdorff from the FDP said it was "not the time to reward the policies of Turkish President Erdogan with PR images". Because the separation of powers has been violated in Turkey for years and basic and civil rights have been suspended, the former MEP called the termination of the EU accession talks, which had been ongoing since 2005, "overdue".
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