ANKARA—Turkey’s EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkir, speaking to journalists after talks with the European Parliament’s (EP) Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri, said that Ankara would declare the EP’s upcoming progress report for Turkey “null and void” if it mentions anything about the Armenian Genocide, the Daily Sabah reports.
Bozkir made the threats while referring to the European Parliament’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in April this year. He also emphasized that this would be the first time that Turkey rejects a progress report by the EP.
The EP in April adopted a resolution that urges all EU member states and Turkey to recognize the 1915 massacre and exile of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. Turkey continues to deny the Armenian Genocide, defying the consensus of most Western historians.
Bozkir also added that the EP should avoid mentioning Turkey’s Kurdish nationalist PKK party, who have advocated for greater rights and independence for Turkey’s Kurds. Bozkir revealed that his main concern was the EP’s planned declassification of the PKK as a terrorist organization. He warned: “If there is any reference to the removal of the PKK from the black list in the EU, it is impossible for us to accept the report.”
He further added that Turkey will not accept the report if it hinders continuation of the negotiation process and implied an end to the EU’s economic contributions to Turkey.
He said that this year’s progress report is yet to be announced even though it should have been published two months ago and added: “The report is getting more complicated with changing proposals as 420 proposals have been requested.”
Turkey has been a candidate country to join the EU since 1999. Negotiations for the accession to the EU began in 2005. Turkey must comply with 35 policy areas, or chapters, setting out reforms needed to become a member.