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Erdogan facing increasing pressure from EU

18 October 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan faces much criticism over his handling of the Syrian crisis and the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul this summer.

Turkey’s charismatic and often bellicose prime minister, who famously said  “Democracy is like a train. We shall get out when we arrive at the station we want,” is accused of stepping off that train and veering away from the principals required to gain EU membership.

The EU report calls on his government to respect the basic rights of the Turkish citizen.

“The capacity for leadership from Erdogan has been found wanting. The potential has disappeared and it is obvious that the EU is not his priority anymore,” one EU member of parliament said.

In the report’s ‘strategy’ section, the EU Commission said the “excessive use of force by police and the overall absence of dialogue” during the Gezi Park protests had raised “serious concerns,”  but the paper continues that the EU is willing to open the chapter on Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and Justice, Freedom and Security as soon as possible to “enhance the EU’s dialogue with Turkey in those areas where the union called for progress.”

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