Turkey’s EU accession appears to be fading even further into the distance as reportedly, Germany is about to issue a paper on foreign policy in which Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have described EU membership talks with Turkey as “open-ended”.
According to Reuters news agency, the paper states that; “If the EU is not in a position to accept (new members) or if Turkey is not able to fully meet the criteria for membership, Turkey should be bound closer to European structures, allowing it to further develop the privileged relationship it enjoys with the EU and Germany.”
Public support in Turkey has dwindled with Germany expressing increasing doubt about Turkey’s accession after the Turkish police’s handling of public protests earlier this year.
Turkey has long been the subject of circumspection by Germany, as regards joining the EU since it is, in the main, a Muslim country. Nevertheless, there was support for the idea by the SDP led by Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder.
Turkey and the EU began a new round of membership negotiations earlier this month. The start of the talks were delayed after Germany and several other EU countries blocked them, citing the Turkish government’s crackdown on protests which began on 28th May at Gezi Park. Protests over police brutality rapidly spread throughout the country, leaving six dead and 8,000 injured.