Kati Piri, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for Turkey, said on Tuesday the situation in Turkey continues to be worrying and that the Turkish people deserve the solidarity of the EU.
Referring to the serious violations of fundamental rights and rights abuses in Turkey and asking the EU to come up with a clear and united response regarding accession talks with Turkey, Piri said: “Taking away the European perspective from the Turkish people for once and forever would be a great mistake. However, the real question at hand is not whether Turkey can or cannot one day become a member of a future EU. This is a theoretical debate. The real question at stake is: What can we do to reverse the current authoritarian trend in Turkey and how can we continue to support millions of people in Turkey who believe in the same values. … The Turkish people deserve our solidarity in difficult times.”
Turkish authorities have been criticized by the EU for its crackdown on government opponents, academics, judges, prosecutors, police officers, soldiers and journalists especially through decrees issued as part of the emergency rule declared after a failed coup in July of last year.
“In July we called for the formal suspension of accession talks if the constitutional amendments were to be implemented unchanged. The situation in Turkey continues to be worrying. There have been no developments in the last two months that would cause us to change our position taken two months ago. We also expect EU leaders to come up with a clear and united response in October,” Piri said, underlining the significance of making a distinction between the Turkish government and the Turkish population.
After EU-Turkey ties became strained due to the Turkish government’s crackdown on dissents, a resolution calling for the freezing of membership negotiations with Turkey if Ankara were to implement a constitutional overhaul, backed by a referendum in April, was adopted by a large majority of votes in the European Parliament on July 6.
The resolution, proposed by Piri, “calls on the Commission and the member states, in accordance with the Negotiating Framework, to formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged.”
The decision was grounded on the incompatibility of the reform package with the principle of separation of powers and the Copenhagen criteria.