Turkey looks east as EU mulls suspending its membership bid

Turkey’s decades-long bid to join the European Union hangs increasingly in the balance as criticism grows over an ongoing crackdown following July’s failed coup; but, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is warning Brussels that Ankara is now ready to go its own way.

The EU parliament is set to deal another blow to Ankara’s membership aspirations, with the group Tuesday discussing a motion on whether to suspend talks. “Opposition against President Erdogan seems reason enough for people to be arrested, prosecuted or sacked from their jobs,” said Rebecca Harms, co-president of the parliament’s Greens/EFA group in a statement ahead of the debate. “The EU needs to send a strong message that he cannot continue in this vein and should freeze the accession negotiations.”

Observers say the EU parliament will likely vote in favor of suspension on Thursday. The vote is only advisory, but analysts say Turkey’s EU bid is alive in name only.

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