Mon. Feb 6th, 2023

The recent protocol incident in Turkey demonstrated how the relationship between the EU and Turkey has deteriorated. Nevertheless, the Commission and Council have pursued an opening of relations to the regime, whilst Turkish democracy and rule of law are still under attack and human rights and gender equality are being undermined on a daily basis.

The Greens/EFA Group demands that the European Commission and Council bring democracy, fundamental rights, the rule of law and gender equality to the forefront of any renewed relations with Turkey. The EU needs to be a reliable and credible ally to Turkish civil society and many imprisoned members of opposition parties, journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and academics.

Sergey Lagodinsky, Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to Turkey, comments:

“The political situation in Turkey is alarming. We expect the European Union and the Turkish government to prioritize compliance with international obligations and respect for human rights in their bilateral relations. We stand in solidarity with those in Turkey who are fighting for human rights and the rights of the opposition.”

Speaking in the debate, Ska Keller, Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group, said:

“Confronted with all of those issues, the Council is still working on a mandate for the modernisation of the customs union between the EU and Turkey without any linkage to human rights and – very differently from accession negotiations – upgrading the customs union entails zero commitment for press freedom or the rights of opposition parties. It’s a purely economic instrument that will help Erdoğan win in the area that makes him most vulnerable – economics.”

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