The European Parliament is adopting today its annual report on Turkey, which is considered to be the most critical EP report ever on the situation in the country. Drafted by S&D MEP Nacho Sánchez Amor, the report reflects the EP’s serious concerns on the continued backsliding in the areas of rule of law and human rights in Turkey during the last 2 years, and the unprecedented scale of the crackdown on democratic opposition and any critical voices.
The report says that any positive agenda with Turkey, including on the customs union, must be linked to democratic conditionality in the country. But if the current negative trend is not urgently reversed, the accession negotiations with Ankara should be formally suspended.
For the S&Ds, supporting and standing in full solidarity with civil society and the many pro-democratic forces in Turkey must be the EU’s renewed priority.
Nacho Sánchez Amor, S&D MEP and EP standing rapporteur on Turkey, said:
“My report reflects the very worrying state of democracy and human rights in Turkey and the deterioration of the EU-Turkey relations. They have reached their lowest point in decades during the past months with Turkey’s hostile foreign policy towards some EU member states. The recent positive change of rhetoric is welcome, but not enough. We need facts that will prove the words.
“The Parliament clearly states its will to have the best relations possible with Turkey but for that we would need to see Turkey reverse its current autocratic drift, in which any kind of critical voice is quashed, and comply with its international commitments, including the rulings by the European Court of Human Rights and the Venice Commission’s recommendations. A positive agenda can only be possible if steps are taken towards improving the situation of democracy.
“The report sends clear messages to both Turkey and the other EU institutions and member states: without urgent progress in human rights and the rule of law situation in Turkey, it will not be possible to improve and advance in EU-Turkey relations. This includes the customs union. The European Parliament will not support any EU policy towards Turkey that forsakes human rights and the rule of law.
“We cannot abandon Turkey’s civil society and the people who share our democratic values and still largely looks towards the EU with hope.”