No: 52, 13 March 2019, Press Release Regarding the European Parliament’s Resolution Regarding 2018 Report on Turkey

The European Parliament’s Resolution regarding 2018 Report on Turkey was adopted in the Plenary of the European Parliament on 13 March 2019.

We do not attribute any value to this unilateral and by no means objective stance of the European Parliament when we are in a period of increasing our common efforts to put Turkey-EU relations back on track and restarting the reform process while we leave behind the trauma of the heinous coup attempt of 15 July. Hence, the Resolution is deemed meaningless on our end.

On the other hand, the high number of votes against and abstentions indicates that this Resolution has no solid ground within the European Parliament of 751 members.

The adoption of this biased and unfair report during the European Parliament election period and just before the local elections in Turkey in particular, as well as the meeting of the Turkey-EU Association Council to be held nearly after four years, contradicts the respect for elections to which we adhere in Europe.

We find it concerning for the EU’s future and our common values that the extreme right and left wings starting to dominate the European Parliament have turned this report into an exclusionary, discriminatory and populist text which does not reflect the reality. Instead of encouraging the elimination of political obstacles to the negotiation process, this and similar initiatives prepared in cooperation with those opposed to the European integration and our common values, contradict the values represented by an EU institution.

The membership to the EU is a strategic objective for Turkey. The call to suspend the accession negotiations, which are the core axis of Turkey-EU relations, clearly demonstrates that the European Parliament lacks a visionary perspective and fails to respect the principle of “pacta sunt servanda”.

In addition, the reference made once again this year to the unfortunate assessment of 15 April 2015 of the European Parliament adopted on 1915 events which is based on one-sided Armenian narratives, reflects the biased and political character of this report.

Turkey, following the lifting of the state of emergency, has demonstrated its determination for the reform process by gathering Reform Action Group twice consecutively after three-year interval. We will decisively continue to work in cooperation with the European Union and the Council of Europe in order to ensure the highest standards of rights and freedoms for our citizens, as they deserve.

The Presidential System of Government is the catalyst and driving force of the reform process. While we take steps focusing on the reforms, such as updating of the Judicial Reform Strategy, drafting of the Action Plan on Human Rights and the progress in the visa liberalisation process, the unfounded allegations referred to in the report indicate the contradictory and prejudiced approach of the European Parliament.

Rather than adopting a stance against Turkey, the European Parliament is expected to take a constructive and encouraging role in support of objectives such as the visa liberalisation which will bring our people closer, and updating of the Customs Union which will serve to increase our economic integration.

The European Parliament’s stance on Turkey should aim to develop Turkey-EU relations, interaction and dialogue. We expect the new European Parliament which will be constituted following elections in May to adopt a constructive approach on Turkey-EU relations in the forthcoming period, to take qualified and objective decisions and to promote Turkey’s integration with the EU.