The European Commission has criticised the way Turkey handled this summer’s anti-government protests in its annual report on Ankara’s bid for EU membership.
“The excessive use of force by police and the overall absence of dialogue during the protests in May/June have raised serious concerns,” the European Commission said.
“This underlines the urgent need for further reforms and the promotion of dialogue across the political spectrum, and in society more broadly, as well as for respect of fundamental rights in practice,” it said.
The EU executive however urges member states to open fresh talks on the Turkish bid to join the bloc.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle said: “ We have taken very objective and in the same time critical stands of the event of May and June. And made some conclusions of it. We also referred the number of positive steps of the peace process in the southeast of Turkey. “
Turkey began negotiations to join the bloc in 2005. 18 years after Ankara first applied for membership.
The accession process has been frozen for the past three years.
Daniel Gros of the Brussels-based think tank CEPS said: “It must be said that are some problems on the EU side. We unfortunately have some members states which are not being very honest, which are having second thoughts on Turkey. But I think that the EU will resolve its internal problems.”
The Turkish government is yet to comment on the report, but Ankara has previously indicated its unhappiness at what it deems to be humiliating treatment by the EU.
Fresh negotiations can be opened provided that EU governments agree with the Commission’s assessment.