The European Parliament General Assembly approved the annual draft report on Turkey with 370 votes in favor, 109 against, 143 abstentions.
The report calls for the suspension of accession talks between Turkey and the European Union because of human rights violations. The decisions taken by the European Parliament, the legislative body of the European Union, are advisory.
The Foreign Affairs Committee voted on February 20 in favor of suspending the negotiations between the two parties following the report prepared by Dutch politician Kati Piri, the EU’s Turkey rapporteur.
Piri’s report describes Turkey’s presidential government model as “clearly autocratic”. This system was adopted in Turkey with a controversial constitutional referendum in April 2017 as the presidential system was introduced while the office of prime minister was abolished.
The first reaction to the European Parliament's decision came from AKP spokesman Ömer Çelik. "This is a worthless, void and discredited decision on our part," said the spokesman. "This disrespectful decision shows that EP is now under the ideological control of the radical right" he added.
Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also made a statement regarding the decision: "At a time when we have increased our joint efforts to revive the relations between our country and the EU, the one-sided and non-objective approach accepted by the European Parliament is worthless for us. The recommendation in question is meaningless."
The Ministry's statement also noted that the report has biased and unjust evaluations, which have been turned into a populist text by the radical right and left wing. "Membership to the EU is still our strategical objective", the statement added.