TEHRAN, Sep. 05 (Press Shia) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed that she will block Turkey’s membership talks with the European Union, signaling an apparent pivot from her previous position.
During a Sunday televised debate with her Social Democrat (SPD) rival Martin Schulz, the center-right leader shocked the audience with an unexpected pledge to discuss an end to Turkey’s EU membership talks with fellow European leaders, if she returned for a fourth term in the upcoming German federal elections.
“The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU,” Merkel said, adding that she never believed it would happen.
“I’ll speak to my [EU] colleagues to see if we can reach a joint position on this so that we can end these accession talks.”
Initially, Merkel cautioned against such a move, saying it would be irresponsible to cut ties with Turkey at a time when German citizens are in Turkish detention cells on political charges, but eventually made the promise after being challenged by Schulz.
In response, the Turkish government accused both Merkel and Schultz of indulging in populism.
Merkel made these remarks on Sunday while yesterday , a day after her remarks, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini underlining Ankara’s role as a partner in the region and emphasized on continuation of Turkey’s European Union membership accession talks.