Tag Archives: Kati Piri

Piri MEP believes in Turkey European future

Reacting upon the severe political and democratic regress, the European Parliament recommended suspending EU accession negotiations with Turkey.

If the EU takes its own values seriously, no other conclusion is possible than to formally suspend the talks on EU integration. Our repeated calls to respect fundamental rights have fallen on deaf ears in Ankara. On top of the severe human rights violations, the dismantling of the rule of law and the fact that Turkey holds the world record for the number of journalists in jail, the recently amended constitution consolidates Erdoğan’s authoritarianism” Dutch Socialist MEP Kati Piri Rapporteur on Turkey said.

Kati Piri believes that the definitive closure of the accession talks, suggested by ENF group is a wrong move,  rejecting those forces, who desire change and who share European values. Although fully admitting that today’s Turkey does not match the Copenhagen criteria, she considers crucial to keep the door open for possible positive changes in the future.

“I realize that stopping the accession talks is not a step which will help Turkey’s democrats. For that, the EU leaders must use all possible tools to exert more pressure on the Turkish government. The Parliament, therefore, calls for dedicated funds to be made available to support civil society, journalists and human rights defenders in Turkey. In addition, modernising the customs union must remain conditional on clear improvements in the field of human rights. And more efforts must be put into people-to-people exchange programmes” MEP added.

A resolution was adopted March 13 by 370 votes in favour, 109 against with 143 abstentions. Kati Piri thanked her all those who participate in working on the resolution, including shadow rapporteurs.

MEPs for suspension of Turkey accession talks

Following years of severe political and democratic backsliding, the European Parliament recommended suspending EU accession negotiations with Turkey.

MEPs remain seriously concerned about Turkey’s violations of human rights, the rule of law, media freedom and the fight against corruption, authoritarian trends .

However MEPs welcome Turkey’s decision, last year, to lift the state of emergency introduced after the failed coup attempt in 2016. However, they regret that many of the powers granted to the President and executive following the coup attempt remain in place, and continue to limit freedom and basic human rights in the country. MEPs express concern about the shrinking space for civil society in the country, as a large number of activists, journalists and human rights defenders are currently in jail.

Taking into account the human rights situation and the new Turkish constitution, the European Parliament recommends that the current EU accession negotiations with Turkey be formally suspended.

 

Despite the serious situation, MEPs express their will to stand behind Turkish citizens, and keep the political and democratic dialogue open. EU funds must be made available – not via Ankara, but to Turkish civil society – for human rights defenders, students and journalists to promote and protect democratic values and principles.

 

 

Piri: EU should stand for its values vis-à-vis Ankara

5.07.2017. Strasbourg. The latest developments in Turkey after a failed coup-d’état continue to concern MEPs, especially regarding human rights and the constitution reform, granting president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan an immense power. Today during plenary MEPs debate Turkey’s situation in regard to its EU candidate country status, and vote on a resolution tomorrow, requesting for EU accession talks suspension in case the proposed changes to the Turkish constitution go ahead. 

 If Turkey would reintroduce the death penalty, if the leadership brings the constitutional reform into force,  there can be no other way than to stop talking about integrating Turkey into the EU. That doesn’t mean we should stop all forms of cooperation”, – the rapporteur Kati Piri, a Dutch member of the Socialist & Democrats group said.

 “The impact of suspending talks in terms of finances would generate 700 million euros a year, which currently go to pre-accession funds to Turkey. In case the suspension comes into force, the EP asks to use this money to directly fund civil society in Turkey. However if politically, we are at that point, this will mean that 60 years of Turkey’s attempts to integrate into Europe have come to a drastic end”.

In spite of current Ankara leadership policies, Turkey remains an influential  partner of the EU in many fields, Piri added. The EP is not proposing to stop cooperating with Turkey, but to divert to the other adjusted framework like with many other countries in the world which are not in accession negotiations.

Piri denies a concept of a “Turkish blackmail” suggested by many experts, considering that the EU is silent on human rights violations because of the fear of migrant flows from Middle East, currently regulated by Ankara government agreement with Brussels.

“We are trying to make agreements on migration with many countries which aren’t even on the European continent” – Piri underlined.

However, Brussels has to change its current policy, Piri continues, as at the moment the EU leaders, except for this European Parliament, choose a strategy waiting-hoping for the best, avoiding to draw red lines – the ill strategy ignoring authoritarianism, only contributes to its growth.

“You cannot just wait, and talk gallantry to President Erdogan observing the degradation of the situation in Turkey. The EU has to take its values seriously, and stand tall for them. That what is what this Parliament is doing” – Piri concluded.

MEPs to devote to human rights in Turkey

Brusssels. 20.06.2017. Turkey’s EU accession talks should be suspended if the proposed changes to the constitution go ahead, committee MEPs recommended on Tuesday.

Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs note in their annual assessment of Turkey’s reform progress that 2016 was a difficult year for Turkey as a result of the war in Syria, the influx of refugees, a string of heinous terror attacks and a coup attempt. They condemn the coup attempt and express their solidarity with the people of Turkey.

“Despite all internal differences, the European Parliament speaks with one voice when it comes to condemning human rights abuses in Turkey. The continuation of the state of emergency has disproportionately negative effects on Turkish society and the arbitrary arrest of thousands of citizens, including parliamentarians and mayors, is of utmost concern” – he rapporteur Kati Piri (S&D, NL) said.

“As the proposed constitutional reform package is not in line with EU membership criteria, the report calls for the formal suspension of the accession talks if the constitutional amendments are implemented unchanged. We expect the government to take the Venice Commission recommendations seriously, as well as the fact that half of the Turkish population voted against it in the referendum” – Piri added.

The resolution recognises the importance of good EU-Turkey relations and maintaining a constructive and open dialogue, which is key for addressing common challenges, such as migration, security or terrorism. MEPs propose upgrading the EU-Turkey Customs Union, by making human rights and fundamental freedoms part of a new agreement.

However, MEPs think that measures taken in response to the coup attempt are disproportionate, regretting the 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.

Taking note of the outcome of Turkey’s recent referendum and the expansion of presidential powers, the Foreign Affairs Committee 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.”

Committee MEPs are concerned about Turkey’s 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.

The resolution on Turkey was adopted by 51 votes to 3, with 14 abstentions. The full House is scheduled to vote on it during the next plenary session in Strasbourg on July.

 

MEP suggests to close door to Erdogan’s Turkey for EU membership

The European Union should formally suspend Turkey’s long-stalled talks on membership if it adopts constitutional changes backed at a referendum last week, a member of the EU parliament responsible for dealings with Ankara said a Socialist MEP ahead of the European parliament plenary.

Member of the European Parliament (MEP), the Socialist from The Netherlands Kati Piri said ahead of a plenary debate on the matter that if President Tayyip Erdogan implemented his new charter, giving him even more powers, Turkey would close the door on membership.

“As Turkey with such a constitution cannot become a member of the EU, it also doesn’t make sense to continue the discussion on integration with the current government,” – Piri said.

The MEPs reaction followed after president Erdogan  Turkey expressed an opinion that Turkey would not wait forever to join the bloc, just a day after the EU executive’s top official for membership talks Johannes Hahn. asked Europe’s foreign ministers to consider other types of ties with Turkey when they meet on Friday.