Presseurop: Brussels and Ankara lose contact

“Ties with Europe are tense,” headlines Milliyet on June 18 following the brutal repression by the police of the anti-government protests. Several European leaders and the European Parliament have been critical of the attitude of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which they consider authoritarian. The case took a diplomatic turn with the cancellation of several EU-Turkey bilateral meetings, as reported by the Istanbul daily –

The hope for a more positive relationship with the European Union has been dashed following differences of opinion about the events in Gezi Park. And so the Turkish side began to cancel its meetings with the EU representatives.

Indeed, the newspaper explains, the Turkish Minister of Justice, Sadullah Ergin, who was to appear before the European Parliament and the Commission to explain the reform of the justice system and the state of press freedoms in Turkey, is withdrawing from the engagements. The Turkish government has also cancelled high-level meetings originally scheduled with a delegation of 13 European MEPs on the Foreign Affairs Commission.

Under these conditions, Milliyet also asks if the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission will finally get together again as planned on June 27 and 28 in Brussels, considering that the Turkish side is made up primarily of members of the Erdoğan’s Party of Justice and Development (AKP).