European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the European Union has to think of economic sanctions to introduce against Turkey for its persecution of the opposition.
Since the July 15 foiled coup, the Turkish government has detained or dismissed thousands of people over alleged ties to the putsch organizers.
“We in the European Union should consider what economic sanctions we can impose against Turkey. The reform of the EU Customs Union, of which Turkey is a member, should happen before the end of the year. I cannot imagine that after a wave of arrests of the opposition delegates and journalists, we will expand the Customs Union,” Schulz told the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, in an interview released on Sunday.
The European Union will halt talks about Turkey joining the bloc, if Ankara introduces capital punishment, Schulz added.
On November 4, Turkish authorities detained 12 members of parliament from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). On Friday, Turkish opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper’s Chairman Akin Atalay was detained by police upon arrival at the Istanbul Ataturk airport, amid mass arrests of the paper’s staff.
The European Union spoke out against what it perceived as multiple cases of human rights violations by Ankara.