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EU Leaders Address the Turkish President on Human Rights

The European Commission and the Council of EU Heads of Government have had a “bold” conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her colleague Charles Michel approached him about his government’s handling of human rights, they stated afterwards. If it doesn’t improve, Turkey could forget its wishes to the EU, they told Erdogan, according to a Brussels source.

The relationship between Brussels and Ankara reached a low point at the end of last year. But since then, Turkey has taken a different tone and, for example, the heightened tension with the EU Member States Greece and Cyprus has diminished.

The EU then no longer just threatened Turkey with sanctions and presented the country with a reward for good behaviour.

But Turkey must realize that the rule of law and human rights are “core values” for the EU, Michel said after the visit of the two EU leaders to Erdogan. He expressed concern about journalists and opposition parties being silenced.

Without improvement, there will be no support in the EU to facilitate trade and trade with Turkey; for example, they have told Erdogan to understand.

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