EU-Turkey relations are at a historic low point, say MEPs

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


EU-Turkey relations have deteriorated to such an extent that the EU needs to profoundly reassess them, MEPs say in a report adopted on Wednesday.

In recent years, the Government of Turkey has distanced itself increasingly from EU values and standards. As a result, relations have been brought to a historic low point, warn MEPs, who are particularly concerned about the state of the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights.


In the report adopted on Wednesday, they insist that if Turkey does not reverse this current negative trend, the Commission should recommend that the accession negotiations be formally suspended.


Hyper-centralisation of power


Criticising Turkey’s regressive institutional reforms, they are alarmed by the “authoritarian interpretation of the presidential system”, pointing to the lack of independence of the judiciary and “continued hyper-centralisation of power in the presidency”. MEPs call on Turkey’s relevant authorities to release all imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, academics and others who have been detained by the government on unsubstantiated charges.


MEPs are also worried about Turkey’s hostile foreign policy, including towards Greece and Cyprus, as well its involvement in Syria, Libya, and Nagorno-Karabakh, which consistently collides with the EU’s priorities. They also repeat their encouragement to Turkey to recognise the Armenian Genocide, which would pave the way for a genuine reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples.


Call for continuous support to Syrian refugees


Reaffirming their conviction that Turkey is a key partner for stability in the wider region, MEPs acknowledge the EU’s ongoing diplomatic efforts for a true and effective dialogue with the country.


The report recalls that Turkey still plays an important role as host to almost 4 million refugees, of which approximately 3.6 million are Syrian, noting that the challenges in addressing this crisis have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It commends these efforts and encourages the EU to continue to give the necessary support to Syrian refugees and to host communities in Turkey. They emphasise though that the use of migrants and refugees as a tool for political leverage, and blackmail cannot be accepted.


Finally, MEPs stress that within Turkey there exists a diverse and engaged civil society, one of the few remaining checks on government power. They urge the Commission to continue to support Turkish civil society organisations financially.


Quote


The rapporteur Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D, ES).said: “This report is probably the toughest yet in its criticism of the situation in Turkey. It reflects all that has unfortunately happened in the country in the last two years, in particular in the fields of human rights and rule of law, which remain the main concern for the European Parliament, and in its relations towards the EU and its members. We hope Turkey will definitively change course and put recent expressions of good will into concrete action. We urge the other EU institutions to make any positive agenda they might pursue with Turkey conditional upon democratic reform.”


The report was adopted on Wednesday by 480 votes in favour, 64 against and 150 abstentions.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

What changes in the EU as from today

America writes-off Iran, blocks Europe’s Tehran talks

This is how to speed up ocean-climate ambition towards COP26

Statement by Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, on the successful conclusion of the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – Brussels, 08 Dec 2017. (Copyright: European Union; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Georges Boulougouris)

The EU and Japan seal free trade pact that will cover 30% of global GDP

The moment of truth for global energy transition is here

UN chief reaffirms commitment to untying ‘Gordian knot’ of Middle East conflict and instability

Great Reset: Why LGBT+ inclusion is the secret to cities’ post-pandemic success

Thursday’s Daily Brief: STIs worldwide, food safety and food prices, updates on Iraq and East Africa

This is how AI can help you make sense of the world

3 reasons why most Africans aren’t on the internet – and how to connect them

Are e-cigarettes as safe as they claim to be?

New citizenship law in India ‘fundamentally discriminatory’: UN human rights office

What is the Internet of Things?

Hungary has made progress on greening its economy and now needs to raise its ambitions

Conflict of interest and misuse of EU funds: The case of Czech PM Babiš

COVID-19 could widen the digital gap. Here’s what’s needed now.

Data is the fuel of mobility. Don’t spill it for nothing

Why the UK government must do more to boost green revolution

Coronavirus emergency: here’s what we know so far

Brexit: With May gone the Tory divide is to sink the UK despite Brits wanting to ‘Remain’

Turkey: MEPs cut support by €70m due to no improvement in respect for EU values

Humanitarian aid: EU mobilises over €18 million for the Central African Republic in 2019

Cocaine and opium production worldwide hit ‘absolute record highs’ – major threat to public health says UN study

Million across Yemen ‘just a step away from famine’, with food available but inaccessible

38th ACP-EU Assembly: dialogue on cooperation challenges in Kigali

A Sting Exclusive: “Leading by example! EU must push for UN deal to avoid dangerous climate change”, European Parliament Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek cries out from Brussels

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

Governments, businesses ‘walk the talk’ for investment in sustainable development: UN forum

28 million elective surgeries may be cancelled worldwide: how non-COVID-19 medical care is suffering

Take action on air pollution to save lives, and the planet, urges UN chief

Renewed pressures on Berlin to adopt growth policies

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

Aid spending fell in 2018, for the second year in a row

These are the benefits of learning a second language

Can collective action cure what’s ailing our food systems?

How supporting climate action on a local level can transform the world

EU launches €100 million humanitarian initiative to support COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in Africa

Improving Italy’s capital market will boost growth opportunities for Italian companies and savers

Is poverty and exclusion the necessary price for EU’s recovery?

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

EU job-search aid worth €9.9 million for 1,858 former Air France workers

How drones can manage the food supply chain and tell you if what you eat is sustainable

Nagorno-Karabakh: EU allocates additional €3 million in humanitarian aid for conflict-affected civilians

Northern Bahamas ravaged by ‘disaster of epic proportions’ as UN releases $1 million in emergency funds

Sustainable investment continues to gain momentum

EU-Japan relations: Foreign Affairs MEPs back Strategic Partnership Agreement

Asylum: more solidarity among EU member states and funds for frontline countries

Security Council hails ‘historic and significant’ joint peace declaration by Ethiopia and Eritrea

Parliament gives green light to EU-Singapore trade and investment protection deals

Lithuania finds the ways to maintain its energy security

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

Let Nagasaki remain ‘the last city’ to suffer nuclear devastation says museum director, as UN chief arrives

New EU rules cut red tape for citizens living or working in another Member State as of tomorrow

“Our house is on fire.” 16 year-old Greta Thunberg wants action

This man ran across the USA to raise awareness of plastic pollution

This warehouse is one of the world’s greenest industrial buildings

FROM THE FIELD: Watering the parched farmland of São Tomé and Príncipe

Cédric in India

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

Early signs of growth in Eurozone?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s