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The EU must not turn its back on peoples of Turkey

On March 13th 2019, the European Parliament voted, in a non-binding report, in favour of the suspension of EU accession negotiations with Turkey, citing disregard for human rights and civil liberties, influence on the judiciary, and disputes over territory with Cyprus and other neighbours.

 

While the report clearly and appropriately describes the situation in which Turkey is now in, especially with regard to democracy, rule of law and and fundamental rights, FYEG and its member organisation Genç Yeşiller strongly disagree with the main conclusion of this report.

“Suspending Turkey’s accession negotiations is a mistake and will further hurt Turkey’s democratic and pro-European forces and civil society. The suspension is sending the signal that the EU is turning its back to Turkey, and that joining the EU is not a horizon for Turkey anymore. Peoples in Turkey fight for a democracy and should not be left alone” said Zuzana Pavelkova, spokesperson of the Federation of Young European Greens

This vote is also showing the hypocrisy of several political groups that three years ago were promoting the EU-Turkey deal as a solution to the “refugee crisis”. At this period, when the AKP government launched an assault against Southern Eastern provinces, causing the death of hundreds of civilians, when they were arresting and detaining thousands of people, when they imposed curfew, limited individual and collective rights, these groups remained silent and turned a blind eye the situation in Turkey to externalise the international crisis that was happening at EU borders. Exactly three years later the EU-Turkey deal, the same groups support the suspension of accessions talks, not because they care about democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Turkey but for electoral opportunism, two months before the European elections.

FYEG believes that Europe should play a constructive role in setting the foundations of an environment that is encouraging policies in the direction of improved freedom of speech, justice and human rights and towards a common agenda together.

FYEG therefore stands in solidarity with the citizens and young greens in Turkey and remains committed to the horizon for Turkey, as well as other European countries, to join the European Union.