EU Turning a Blind Eye to Turkish Denial, Says European Federation

STRASBOURG–The European Parliament again turned a blind eye to Turkey’s stark violations of its EU Commitmen’s as the body voted Wednesday to approve a slanted report on Turkey’s progress toward EU membership, reported the European-Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy.
The European Union’s legislative body was gathered in pleary session Wednesday to approve the report prepared by Oomen-Ruijten, a Conservative party politician from the Netherlands.
The report focuses its criticism of Turkey on the country’s delays in implementing democratic and legislative reforms. The slow pace of reform for Turkey’s minorities is also a point criticized by the report.
Like previous reports on Turkey, this one also claims that any additional delays in the implementation of the said reforms "will seriously affect the rhythm of negotiations" for EU membership.
Despite it’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and strong positions expressed by a large number of its deputies, the European Parliament failed to include an objective account in the report highlighting Turkey’s ongoing policy of state sponsored denial.
The report instead includes an amendment tabled by a number of parliamentarian’s working for Turkish interests. The amendment diluted the report’s language on Turkey’s blockade of Armenia.
"The Oomen-Ruijten report…proved once again that, regarding the Armenian Genocide, the European position is well established on denial." Said Chairwoman of the European Armenian Federation Hilda Tchoboian. "It waters down even the Parliament’s position regarding the blockade on Armenia by being in blatant contradiction with the Accession criteria and the requiremen’s of the Neighborhood policy."
The Oomen-Ruijten report cannot contribute to a real dialogue between the European Union and Turkey, she stressed.
As for Article 301, Tchoboian continued, the European Parliament ignored the calls for its abolition by European and Turkish civil society.
The report was satisfied with cosmetic reform of the Turkish penal code article as "a first step," she added.
The compromising nature of the Oomen-Ruijten report regarding a law that penalizes a right so fundamental to Europe as the freedom of expression, will not help Turkey’s democratic forces in their struggle to change the country, she stressed.
"What the European societies demand from the European Parliament, is to express in its reports more transparent positions, and the truth about the situation of Human Rights and democracy in Turkey," Tchoboian explained. "It is regrettable that the report hides from the public opinion the seriousness of Turkey’s breaches in these fields."

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