EU cuts Turkey funding after 'democratic deterioration'

2017-11-20 07:15
(Emrah Gurel, AP)

(Emrah Gurel, AP)

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Brussels - The European Union will cut funds allocated to Turkey due to the "deteriorating situation in relation to democracy, rule of law and human rights" there, according to the 2018 EU budget.

The bloc will shrink the so-called "pre-ascension funds" for Turkey by $124m and suspend additional amounts next year. 

Coup attempt

The Council of the EU and the European Parliament, the two legislative institutions of the bloc, still need to formally approve the new budget.

Many of the EU member states have been in condemnation of the Turkish government's arrests and purges of tens of thousands of people after a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

Local and international rights groups have accused the government of using the coup attempt as a pretext to silence opposition in the country.

Without strings

The government has said that the purges and detentions aimed to remove from state institutions and other parts of society the supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based, self-exiled religious leader on whom Ankara blames the attempted coup.

"For those … that depart from our democratic standards and breach fundamental rights, we have sent a clear message that the money that the EU provides cannot come without strings attached," MEP Siegfred Muresan, the rapporteur for the 2018 general budget, told reporters after the announcement.


Read more on:    eu  |  turkey

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