Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, has slammed a motion passed by MEPs criticising his government’s handling of the protests in Istanbul.
In a televised speech, he told supporters that he “does not recognise the decision that the European Parliament has taken about us.”
“Those who have taken this decision should first look at Greece. Turkey is just a candidate, not a member state. How can you take such a decision about me?”, the Turkish premier said.
The European Parliament voted on Thursday to express its concern at the extent of the force used by police.
But one Dutch MEP who authored the legislative body’s progress report on Turkey’s potential EU membership said talks with Ankara should continue, despite the unrest.
“Europe should draw a lesson from the events which happened and should really come up with the opening of those chapters. Because that gives Turkey, also, the benchmarks on how to act and to react,” Ria Oomen-Ruijten told euronews.
Turkey’s stance on Cyprus has remained the biggest stumbling block in the country’s efforts to forge closer ties with the EU.