European Parliament cancels planned trip to Turkey after PM Erdogan's comments.

By bne IntelliNews June 19, 2013

The European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee has cancelled a trip to Turkey scheduled to take place on June 19 and June 20 because of the statements made by the Turkish government.

In the face of the declarations made by representatives of the government of Turkey the committee has decided to postpone its visit. I regret this, said Elmar Brok, chair of the committee in a statement on Monday. “Turkey is and remains an important partner for the EU but should understand how to deal with criticism. We will pursue contacts with our counterparts in Turkey to re-establish a constructive dialogue with them." Brok added. Turkey’s justice minister Sadullah Ergin this week cancelled his plans to attend upcoming meetings of the European Parliament and the European Commission in Brussels.

Last week Erdogan lashed out at the European Parliament when it adopted a non-binding resolution warning the Turkish government against the use of harsh measures against peaceful protesters. But PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would recognise any decision made by the European Parliament while Turkey’s foreign ministry dismissed the European Parliament’s resolution as null and void.

Also on Tuesday UN’s human rights chief Navi Pillay urged maximum restraint, dialogue to defuse tensions in Turkey. The atmosphere is still clearly highly combustible and it is important that the authorities recognise that the initial extremely heavy-handed response to the protests, which resulted in many injuries, is still a major part of the problem, Pillay said.

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