Gianni Pittella Calls for Freezing of Turkey's EU Accession Talks

22/11/2016
Gianni Pittella Calls for Freezing of Turkey's EU Accession Talks
Foreign affairs, human rights, security & defence

Following the decision of the Conference of Presidents to schedule for the next plenary session a vote on a resolution concerning the situation in Turkey and the possibility of freezing the accession talks, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Gianni Pittella, sta

22/11/2016

Following the decision of the Conference of Presidents to schedule for the next plenary session a vote on a resolution concerning the situation in Turkey and the possibility of freezing the accession talks, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Gianni Pittella, stated:

"The accession talks with Turkey should be temporarily frozen. On our initiative, the European Parliament will vote next week in Strasbourg on a resolution on this turning point in the relationship with Ankara. There is no alternative to these severe steps as long as the Turkish authorities keep neglecting and undermining democracy and rule of law. The dialogue with Ankara must be, and will be, kept alive but Erdoğan must understand that as a candidate country, rule of law, democracy, freedom of press and minorities’ rights must be untouchable pillars in Turkey. The doors to Turkey and Turkish people remain open; but the one for the accession talks, for the time being, should not.

"We also want to stigmatize the recent press attacks, which occurred on some relevant Turkish media, which blamed us for the meeting we held in Brussels with important representatives of the Kurdish HDP party, Tuğba Hezer Öztürk and Faysal Sariyildiz.

"HDP is a fully legitimized representative of the Kurdish community in Turkey; they are fully legitimized members of the Turkish Parliament and we fully recognise them as our sister party. Dialogue and mutual respect are essential values of democracy. We will not give that up and we will not accept intimidations on this regard."