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More bad news for Turkey's EU accession bid

The European Union's most recent report on the state of Turkey's bid to join the bloc appears to confirm the view of many analysts that the current process is riddled with hypocrisy and is not beneficial to either party.

Lost amid Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's stunning announcement today that presidential and parliamentary elections would be held concurrently on June 24, nearly 17 months ahead of schedule, was the European Union’s yearly report on Turkey’s progress toward full membership in the bloc. The harshest report since talks began in 2005 received scant attention from the press, but it triggered howls of protest from Turkish officials.

The report released yesterday decries the weakening of Turkey's democracy, ongoing mass arrests in the wake of the failed 2016 coup and mounting pressure on civil society along with the lack of a level playing field in the run-up to the April 2017 referendum on switching from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency. In addition, it notes “serious backsliding” in judicial reform and freedom of expression and cites human rights abuses in the majority-Kurdish southeast.

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