EU Parliament Calls For Freeze On Turkey’s Membership Talks

European Parliament chambers
European Parliament chambers

European Parliament chambers

The European Union should formally suspend Turkey’s negotiations to join the bloc, EU lawmakers said on Wednesday.

In a resolution adopted on Wednesday by 370 votes in favor, 109 against with 143 abstentions, members of the European Parliament welcome Turkey’s decision, last year, to lift the state of emergency introduced after the failed coup attempt in 2016. However, they regret that many of the powers granted to the President and executive following the coup attempt remain in place, and continue to limit freedom and basic human rights in the country. Members of the European Parliament expressed great concern about the shrinking space for civil society in the country, as a large number of activists, journalists and human rights defenders are currently in jail.

Taking into account the human rights situation and the new Turkish constitution, the European Parliament recommends that the current EU accession negotiations with Turkey be formally suspended.

Despite the serious situation, Members of the European Parliament express their will to stand behind Turkish citizens, and keep the political and democratic dialogue open. EU funds must be made available – not via Ankara, but to Turkish civil society – for human rights defenders, students and journalists to promote and protect democratic values and principles.

Members of the European Parliament believe that to keep Turkey economically anchored to the EU, the possibility to upgrade the 1995 EU-Turkey Customs Union to include, for example, agriculture and public procurement, must remain an option, but only if there are concrete improvements in the field of democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

Further, Members of the European Parliament encourage Turkey to fulfill all 72 benchmarks for EU visa liberalization, to benefit Turkish citizens, particularly students, academics, business representatives and people with family ties in EU countries.

Finally, regarding the war in Syria, the resolution recalls Turkey’s important role in responding to the migration crisis and the government’s efforts to grant refugees temporary protection. The EP takes the view that the country and its population have shown great hospitality by offering shelter to more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, but at the same time urges them to respect the non-refoulement principle. Member states, on the other hand, need to keep their promises regarding large-scale resettlement.

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3 Comments

  1. HAGOP said:

    143 ABSTENTIONS??? MORE LIKE 143 WITH NO GUTS!!!!!!!!!

    THIS IS PROOF THAT ARMENIA CAN NOT RELY ON ANY OTHER COUNTRY EXCEPT ITSELF!!!!!!!

  2. GB said:

    Those brainwashed Turks believe they own European Civilization, after occupying constantiapole the heart of Christian powerhouse in 1453!

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