Turkish PM: EU report on accession talks 'null and void'


"The EU should determine its vision for its future and decide whether or not it will walk with Turkey", he said.

The European Parliament has voted in favour of suspending accession talks with the EU if Turkey goes ahead and implements constitutional changes approved in a referendum earlier this year.

Turkey's 12-year-long attempt to become EU member-state may end in failure as the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on to halt accession negotiations.

Turkey responded angrily after 477 European lawmakers backed a non-binding motion in a vote in Strasbourg with just 64 against with 97 abstentions.

Howewer, the European Parliament has only limited power on this subject, and both the European Commission and EU member governments have thus far ignored calls for a formal suspension of the talks.

President Erdogan narrowly won a referendum in April giving him sweeping new constitutional powers, with the reinstatement of the death penalty high on his list of priorities.

Turkey will insist on maintaining its European Union (EU) accession process instead of settling for a lesser "strong cooperation" deal with the bloc, Turkey's Anadolu Agency (AA) reported a senior Turkish minister as saying on Thursday.

"We reject with the back of our hand any proposals that there should be strong cooperation between Turkey and the European Union in other areas instead of accession talks", Celik told reporters.

"The current strategy of the European Commission and EU leaders seems to wait silently for things to improve in Turkey", said the European Parliament's lead negotiator on Turkey, Kati Piri, criticising a stance which she said was "feeding President Erdogans authoritarianism".

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftugolu separately said the decision was based on false claims and allegations, and undermined the parliament's reputation. To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards. Talks have been stymied, however, since 2007 over disputes related to Cyprus, which has been partially occupied by Turkey since 1974.

Many EU leaders question whether Turkey, a large, relatively poor and overwhelmingly Muslim country, should ever be let in and many Turks have also cooled to the idea.