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EU-Turkey: accession talk on risk

©AP Images/European Union - EP

This Parliament speaks with one, clear and loud voice in condemning the Turkish government’s serious decline in democratic standards, and continues to support the Turkish population – millions of whom would like to continue to see the EU as an anchor for reforms in their country.” Parliament’s rapporteur Kati Piri said during the plenary Session in Strasburg.

MEPs warned that Turkey’s EU accession talks should be suspended if proposed changes to the constitution go ahead, as these go against EU membership criteria.

There are a strong concern about Turkey backsliding in the rule of law, human rights, media freedom, and the fight against corruption. They condemn the repeatedly declared support for the reintroduction of the death penalty by the Turkish President, which would put into question Turkey’s membership in the Council of Europe and lead to an immediate end of EU accession talks.

Taking note of the outcome of Turkey’s recent referendum and the expansion of presidential powers, the resolution calls on the EU Commission and the EU national governments “to formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged.”

 

The Parliament condemn the coup attempt and express their solidarity with the people of Turkey, but at the same time regret the Turkish government’s disproportionate response, resulting in large-scale dismissal of civil servants, the closing of media outlets, the arrest of journalists, judges and human rights defenders, and the closure of schools and universities.

With this resolution European deputies recognises the importance of good EU-Turkey relations and maintaining a constructive and open dialogue, which is key to addressing common challenges, such as migration, security or terrorism. MEPs support upgrading the EU-Turkey Customs Union, asking for human rights and fundamental freedoms to be a part of a new agreement.

Moreover, the Parliament supports a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, based on bi-communal and bi-zonal federation. It calls on Turkey to show active support for a rapid and successful conclusion to the negotiations and to start withdrawing its troops from Cyprus.

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