European Parliament Rapporteur Kati Piri proposes the formal suspension of accession negotiations with Turkey reiterating her call on Ankara to refrain from threatening Cyprus.
Dutch socialist MEP Kati Piri presented on Wednesday to the European Parliament in Strasbourg her draft report on Turkey`s accession progress.
Her report said that continuing a negotiating process aimed at EU integration of Turkey has lost all credibility under the present circumstances.
“With the full implementation of the constitutional amendments, which legitimizes an all-powerful presidency with powers to personally appoint or dismiss ministers, select judges and rule by decree, a red line has been crossed for the European Parliament,” said Piri.
She added: “In its last report the European Parliament warned that it would propose a formal suspension of the accession talks if this would indeed happen. That is now the case.”
“Continuing a negotiating process aimed at EU integration of Turkey has lost all credibility under the present circumstances”, Piri said. “Apart from the clearly autocratic nature of the recently introduced presidential system, which lacks the necessary democratic checks and balances, it is impossible to ignore the further regression of the rule of law with over 50,000 people, including journalists, politicians, and human rights defenders, still in jail since the attempted coup and 150,000 civil servants dismissed without proper legal procedures.”
“The more friendly statements of the Turkish government about the EU and some of its member states or for example the restoration of full diplomatic relations with The Netherlands cannot conceal these facts,” said Piri.
“The Council is partly to blame for this situation since it has not used past opportunities to engage the Turkish regime in serious talks about democracy and rule of law by refusing to open the relevant negotiating chapters, as proposed several times by the European Parliament,” reminded Piri and added that “Now that there has been a stark regression in all these areas, the same Council refuses to draw a red line, although fully aware of the fact that in reality, accession talks have come to a complete standstill.”
“Both the EU (or at least a majority of Member States) and the Turkish government itself seem to cling to the membership option more in theory than in practice. It seems that an impasse is the favored option of both sides. Consequently, the relations between the EU and Turkey have become more and more purely transactional,” added Piri.
Piri, although proposing the suspension of the accession negotiations, does not want to close the door on Turkey’s people. “A democratic and economically stable Turkey is in the interest of the European Union. Therefore, all tools should be used to keep Turkey anchored to the EU and its values.”
On Cyprus, Piri welcomed efforts by the UN to resume negotiations on the reunification of the island.
She repeated her call on Turkey to commit and contribute to a comprehensive settlement, to begin withdrawing its troops from Cyprus, to transfer the sealed-off area of Famagusta (Varosha) to the UN, and to refrain from actions altering the demographic balance on the island.
The EP Rapporteur praised the important work of the Committee on Missing Persons and recognises the right of the Republic of Cyprus to enter into bilateral agreements concerning its exclusive economic zone.
Piri urged Turkey to engage in the peaceful settlement of disputes, and to refrain from any threat or action which might have negative effects on good neighbourly relations.
Although proposing the suspension of the accession negotiations, Piri does not want to close the door on Turkey’s population.
She said that: “A democratic and economically stable Turkey is in the interest of the European Union. Therefore, all tools should be used to keep Turkey anchored to the EU and its values.” financialmirror, scfcenter and other sources