Wednesday

22nd Nov 2017

Turkey not ready to join the EU, says cardinal

"It is not the right moment for Turkey to join the European Union", cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said after another catholic priest was attacked in Turkey over the weekend.

On Sunday (2 July) 74-year-old French priest Pierre Brunissen was stabbed, suspectedly by a mentally unbalanced man in the Black Sea port of Samsun. The priest left hospital on Monday and Turkish police have detained a 47-year-old suspect.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Catholic religious personnel feel unsafe in Turkey (Photo: EUobserver)

But Pierre Brunissen was the third catholic priest attacked or harassed in Turkey since February and the latest attack prompted strong reactions from the catholic church.

"Islamic fundamentalism is growing in Istanbul and there is hostility towards foreigners," cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

"It is not the right moment for Turkey to join the European Union. What is still missing [in Turkey], is a secular state capable of assuring real religious freedom, and this is a long process which needs time."

The apostolic nuncio in Turkey, Archbishop Luigi Padovese, added he felt Turkey was no longer safe for catholics.

"I live in Iskenderun [on the border with Syria], but what I say is valid for the whole country: I do not feel safe anymore, and catholic religious personnel living in other towns don't either," he told Italian daily La Repubblica.

The archbishop added that Pierre Brunissen had received threats over the telephone not long before he was attacked and that others had also been threatened directly or through phone calls.

In February catholic priest Andrea Santoro was shot dead in Trabzon, another Black Sea port city.

A 16-year-old Turk went on trial in May on charges of killing Mr Santoro with the prosecution demanding a life sentence.

Only five days after Mr Santoro's killing another Roman Catholic priest from Italy said he had been harassed by a group of young men at St. Helen's Catholic Church in the western Turkish city of Izmir.

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to pay an official visit to Turkey in November.

Bulgaria calls for West Balkan EU integration after Brexit

The UK leaving the EU gives an opportunity to bring the Western Balkans closer, Bulgaria's PM said in Brussels. Bulgaria will hold the upcoming rotating presidency, while Juncker said Serbia and Montenegro will be EU members by 2025.

Turkey poised for first EU budget cut

"Turkey is going in a direction that is the very opposite of EU standards," Siegfried Muresan, the MEP spearheading the cuts, has said.

EU summit shifts mood on Turkey amid aid cuts

EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.

Turkey accuses Merkel of racism

Turkish foreign minister said German chancellor's call to end EU accession talks was "same rhetoric as racist parties".

Bulgaria calls for West Balkan EU integration after Brexit

The UK leaving the EU gives an opportunity to bring the Western Balkans closer, Bulgaria's PM said in Brussels. Bulgaria will hold the upcoming rotating presidency, while Juncker said Serbia and Montenegro will be EU members by 2025.

Turkey poised for first EU budget cut

"Turkey is going in a direction that is the very opposite of EU standards," Siegfried Muresan, the MEP spearheading the cuts, has said.

News in Brief

  1. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  2. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  3. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers
  4. French banks close Le Pen accounts
  5. Commission relaxes rules on labelling free range eggs
  6. Commission issues €34m fine over car equipment cartel
  7. Estonian presidency 'delighted' with emissions trading vote
  8. Mladic found guilty of genocide and war crimes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  2. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  3. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  4. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  6. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  7. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  8. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  9. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  10. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  11. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  12. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure

Latest News

  1. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  2. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  3. Commission warns Italy over high debt level
  4. Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes
  5. Uber may face fines in EU for keeping data breach secret
  6. EU counter-propaganda 'harms' relations, Russia says
  7. The EU's half-hearted Ostpolitik
  8. Glyphosate: 1.3 million EU citizens call for ban