EU Parliament calls to freeze Turkey’s negotiations
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 24 November 2016 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - In the last months, EU was increasingly concerned about serious violations of human rights, especially after the recent arrest of 10 Kurdish parliamentarians, including Kurdish HDP Leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag. Nearly half of 110 Kurdish majors were arrested or dismissed from their functions. There are now tens of thousands of political prisoners in Turkey including over 140 journalists, the freedom of expression and on the press and media is very limited. Many Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and EU officials believe that President Erdogan is using the failed coup attempt against Kurds and all oppositions in order to crack down the rest of the democracy and bring Turkey in a fundamental Islamic state.
On 24 November, in a written resolution on EU-Turkey relations, the majority of MEPs (479) strongly condemned violations of human rights and rule of the law and disproportionate repressive measures taken in Turkey since the failed military coup attempt in June 2016.
MEPs expressed as well “serious concerns over the conditions of those detained and arrested following the attempted coup and over the severe restrictions on freedom of expression and on the press and media in Turkey”. They said also “increasingly authoritative regime is betraying Turkish citizens and those all who want a European future,”.
Moreover, the European Parliament’s Members recognise that “while Turkey is an important partner of the EU, the political will to cooperate has to come from both sides of a partnership; believe that Turkey is not demonstrating this political will, as the government’s actions are further diverting Turkey from its European path”.
As a consequence of the current worsening situation in Turkey, the MEPs asked for temporary freeze of the ongoing accession negotiations with Turkey, while underlining that EU should “remain committed to keeping Turkey anchored to the EU” and to “review its position when the disproportionate measures under the state of emergency in Turkey are lifted and the rule of law and human rights are restored throughout the country”.
EU Heads of states and governments will discuss further EU-Turkey relations on the EU summit in Brussels on 15-16 December 2016.