|Archived photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish president Recep Tayip Erdogan huring his last visit to Berlin|
BERLIN, Sept 4 (KUNA) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she plans to ask EU leaders during a forthcoming summit in October to call off talks with Turkey over Ankara potentially joining the 28-member bloc.
In a press conference, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said that Merkel, along with EU leaders, will consider halting membership talks with Ankara, a move that risks further fraying ties between the NATO allies.
Turkey’s ties with the EU featured heavily in a lively television debate on Sunday that pitted Merkel against her Social Democrat rival Martin Schulz, as Germany gears up for parliamentary elections due on September 24.
Meanwhile, membership talks with Turkey can be suspended only with the consent of the entire 28-member bloc.
Relations between Turkey and Germany have soured in recent months after a series of escalating spats sparked by Ankara’s arrest of 12 German nationals on political grounds. (end)