Merkel calls for EU aid cut to Turkey over democratic backsliding

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for cuts in European Union financial assistance aimed at helping Turkey prepare for eventual EU membership, AP reports. The chancellor cited what she called the troubling direction the country has taken on democracy and rule of law. Arriving at an EU summit on Thursday, Merkel said that she considers Turkey’s developments on democracy “very negative, not only because many Germans are under arrest.” However, she praised Turkey for helping to stop the massive flow of migrants into Europe as part of a deal with the EU. Ankara’s bid to join the EU has stalled following a crackdown on dissent after a failed coup attempt in 2016.