EU budget chief expects Turkey aid to be cut over crackdown

The man in charge of the European Union's budget says he expects aid to Turkey worth billions of euros to be suspended because of the government's crackdown on suspected opponents.

EU budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger told Germany's Bild newspaper in comments published Monday that a 4.3 billion euro ($5.1 billion) fund had been intended to "bring Turkey closer to Europe." The aid included training for judges and prosecutors and is supposed to continue until 2020.

Oettinger was quoted as saying that "in view of the political developments in Turkey, I can't imagine that such projects will continue to be funded."

Turkey has fired thousands of judges and prosecutors suspected of links to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen following a failed military coup last year. Overall, some 50,000 people have been arrested.