« »Turkey’s position in crucial geopolitical affairs cannot be an alibi to further deepen the authoritarian trend in the country, » said the parliament’s Turkey rapporteur » says Bianet English.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday (May 12) adopted a report on Turkey.
In the report adopted by 54 votes in favor, 7 against and 13 abstentions, MEPs warned that the country has consistently gone back on its commitments regarding the accession process in the past two years, according to a press release about the report.
The MEPs also pointed to the « continued deterioration of the human rights situation » and « regret the sustained legal and administrative pressure that the Turkish government is putting on civil society and human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists, » said the statement.
Kavala and the ECtHR
The report also touched on Turky’s failure to release Osman Kavala, a businessperson and a rights defender, despite a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling.
« MEPs conclude that the Parliament cannot at this stage justify modifying its position concerning the formal suspension of the accession negotiations with Turkey, which have effectively been at a standstill since 2018.
« By openly defying the binding rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the case of Osman Kavala and others, the current Turkish Government has deliberately demolished any aspirations of reopening the EU accession process at this time, say MEPs. »
Ukraine and Customs Union
The MEPs stressed the importance of « close cooperation » between Ankara and Brussels in foreign and security policies.
« Welcoming Turkey’s willingness to act as a mediator in the Russian war against Ukraine, MEPs stress the vital importance of good EU-Turkey cooperation in foreign and security policy in the current challenging times and welcome Turkey’s firm alignment with NATO and the EU.
« The report commends Turkey’s efforts to continue hosting the largest refugee population in the world, and welcomes the continued provision of EU funding for refugees and host communities in Turkey. MEPs express their commitment to sustain this support in the future.
« MEPs also support the Commission’s proposal to start negotiations to update a mutually beneficial Customs Union, warning however that Parliament would only support the final agreement on modernising the Customs Union when necessary democratic conditions on human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect of international law and good neighbourly relations are met. »
« Geopolitics can’t be an alibi »
The Turkey rapporteur of the European Parliament, Nacho Sánchez Amor, said, « This report shows a sharp contrast between a relative improvement in the contact between the EU and Turkey in recent months and a disastrous situation in fundamental rights and rule of law that continues deteriorating, as shown by the recent ruling on Kavala’s case.
« Turkey’s position in crucial geopolitical affairs cannot be an alibi to further deepen the authoritarian trend in the country. »
Bianet English, May 13, 2022