The European Union puts on hold some of the EU integration funding for Turkey as the country “is moving away from Europe,” European Neighborhood Policy EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn said.
“Turkey is moving not in the direction of Europe, but in the opposite direction. We are legally obliged to correlate financial support with the progress the country is making,” Hahn told DPA news agency.
He added that the negative tendencies began to emerge even before the July coup attempt in Turkey and these were against “not only the EU standards but the international law as well.”
It remains unknown which payments and for how long will be frozen.
Turkey became the candidate for EU membership in 2005. In March 2016, Turkey’s candidature received a boost as it signed an agreement with the European Union on taking back migrants who arrived illegally in Greece in exchange for financial aid and concessions on visas.
However, Brussels’ relationship with Ankara took a hit in the aftermath of the July’s foiled coup in Turkey, when the European Union objected to the Turkish government’s clampdown on those suspected of ties to the coup organizers.