The European Parliament has asked for Turkey’s EU accession talks to be suspended if Ankara goes ahead with a planned constitutional reform which would grant sweeping powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ankara said on Thursday that it rejects proposals to drop its EU membership bid in favor of cooperation in other areas.
“We reject with the back of our hand any proposals that there should be strong cooperation between Turkey and the EU in other areas instead of accession talks,” Turkey’s EU affairs minister, Omer Celik, told reporters, as quoted by Reuters.
Turkey’s ties with the EU have deteriorated since last July, when a failed coup attempt prompted a government crackdown by Ankara.
“The European Parliament has failed in its solidarity with Turkey following the coup attempt. We had expected strong support, but the call to end membership talks instead is wrong,” Celik said.
Relations further deteriorated following an April referendum which will grant President Erdogan power to become the sole executive head of state, with authority to choose his own cabinet ministers, enact laws, call elections and declare states of emergency.