EP rapporteur urges democratic reforms in first visit to Turkey
The European Parliament’s new rapporteur to Turkey, Kati Piri, speaks during a meeting in Brussels. AA PhotoContinuing with democratic reforms is key for Turkey to advance its EU accession process, Kati Piri, the European Parliament’s new rapporteur to Turkey, has said on her first visit to Ankara.
“The main issues we are focused on are the rule of law and democratic reform with regard to Turkey’s accession process,” Piri told reporters after her Dec. 10 meeting with Akif Hamzaçebi, the deputy parliamentary group leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Piri was paying her first visit to Ankara, where she held meetings with EU Minister Volkan Bozkır, representatives of opposition parties, and civil society organizations.
The visit comes at a time when the Turkish government has become the subject of strong criticism from political groups inside and outside the country for its series of allegedly undemocratic steps.
“In general, we know the accession process is important for the European Parliament and for Turkey. Therefore, my report is going to be on that basis. Democratic reforms are an important part of this process,” Piri stressed, also citing the Kurdish peace process, the recent readmission agreement, and visa liberalization as positive developments in Turkey.
After the meeting with Piri, the CHP’s Hamzaçebi told reporters there was “no process of democratic reforms in Turkey.”
“It seems that they have an expectation from Turkey. But I sadly express that there is no process of democratic reforms in Turkey. To the contrary, there is a backward process,” he said.
Hamzaçebi also reiterated his party’s commitment to Turkey’s EU accession process and the union’s values of “democracy, human rights and freedoms.”