Turkish democracy needs compromise and tolerance, say members of European Parliament
STRASBOURG – Hürriyet Daily News
This file photo shows members of the European Parliament who attend a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. REUTERS/Vincent KesslerMembers of European Parliament said the ongoing unrest in Turkey reveals “the absence of a culture of compromise and the failure to tolerate dissent” during a discussion on June 6.
“The current unrest in Turkey highlights the absence of a culture of compromise and the failure to tolerate dissent in Turkish democracy,” foreign affairs members of the European Parliament said. They also criticized the lateness of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s reaction to the crackdown on the anti-government protests as well as the lack of reaction so far by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a statement released by the European Parliament’s website.
Parliament members stressed that respect for freedom of speech, freedom of the media and the right to protest, were core EU values and must be upheld in Turkey. Several members welcomed the statement that “democracy is not just about elections” by Turkish President Abdullah Gül, while regretting the lack of an apology by Erdoğan. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç’s apology for the excessive use of violence by police was also appreciated.
A number of MEPs also criticized the failure of major Turkish media outlets to cover the protests and pointed to their possible self-censorship. MEPs called for legal action against the perpetrators of violence and stressed the need to promote solutions leading to stability in Turkey, in accordance with the EU’s values and principles, said the statement.
The full House is set to discuss the recent events in Turkey with Ashton in Strasbourg on June 12 and a resolution will be voted on June 13.