Turkey's EU minister slams European Parliament over vote in favour of freezing membership talks

Turkey's EU Minister Omer Celik on Thursday (Nov 24) dismissed a European Parliament vote in favour of freezing accession talks with Ankara as "null and void".
Turkey's EU Minister Omer Celik on Thursday (Nov 24) dismissed a European Parliament vote in favour of freezing accession talks with Ankara as "null and void".PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik on Thursday (Nov 24) dismissed a European Parliament vote in favour of freezing accession talks with Ankara as "null and void" and not to be taken seriously.

"We consider that decision null and void. It is not a decision that can be taken seriously because of the vision it has and the language that pervades the text," Mr Celik told a televised news conference.

The minister branded the vote as an "undemocratic" and "narrow-minded" decision, saying it "has no vision".

The European Parliament's motion was approved by 479 votes to 37, with 107 abstentions.

The decision negatively affected the embattled Turkish lira - boosted by a rate hike earlier in the day - to leave the currency losing 1.05 per cent against the dollar on the day.

The non-binding decision comes amid heightened tensions between Turkey and the EU as Brussels slams Ankara's crackdown in the aftermath of the July failed coup bid.

Almost 37,000 suspects have been placed under arrest, and tens of thousands lost their jobs since the July 15 putsch attempt, blamed by the Turkish government on a rogue element in the military to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Erdogan on Wednesday said the vote was worthless and accused Europe of taking the side of "terror organisations."