EU must act over Turkish violations of democracy and human rights
With democracy and the human rights situation in freefall since the 15th July coup attempt in Turkey, GUE/NGL’s MEPs have urged EU leaders to immediately halt the controversial migrants deal and to re-examine all ties with the Erdoğan regime.
Takis Hadjigeorgiou - Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation to Turkey - said the EU’s relations with Turkey has reached a critical juncture:
"The European Parliament would have risked losing its last shred of dignity had it not proceeded to having this debate on Turkey and a vote on the resolution this Thursday.”
“Meanwhile, we must also underscore the arrest of the HDP’s Selahattin Demirtaş - the co-leader of the third biggest party in the country which represents at least six million voters.”
“All these, however, have nothing personal against the Turkish people who are faced with such deep divisions in their country,” he added.
“In terms of the negotiations on Cyprus, I welcome Tsipras and Erdoğan’s upcoming meeting to discuss the issue of security in the post-solution era - we all have a role to play in order to achieve a success in Cyprus," he said.
German MEP and substitute on the Parliament’s delegation to Turkey, Martina Michels , is highly critical of the European Council for the current predicament:
“Apart from a few so-called progress reports, both the EU and the Council of Europe - of which Turkey is a member - have maintained this deafening silence and appeasement as Erdoğan strives for regional supremacy.”
“Such passiveness can be attributed to several factors: to maintain ‘Fortress Europe’; and to keep NATO membership happy so that the rest of the alliance can continue to sell arms to Turkey,” she added.
“I call on the European Council to stop the migrants deal with Turkey. We must also remember the so-called European values of solidarity and respecting human rights when it comes to political prisoners.”
“Merely handing out the Sakharov Prize is not enough to absolve the European Union of its responsibilities to human rights and democracy,” argued Michels.
Swedish MEP Malin Björk said political will was badly needed if the EU is to face up to the situation in Turkey:
“First of all, we call for an immediate stop to the shameful refugee deal with Turkey."
“In addition, we must freeze membership negotiations with Erdoğan’s authoritarian regime until the rule of law has been restored.”
“Lastly, the EU must provide support to the HDP, to journalists, women and all those who stand for democracy in the face of repression.”
“To our imprisoned HDP colleagues - they represent our hope for peace and democracy in Turkey. We will not rest until they have been freed,” Björk concluded.