EU finds Erdoğan’s words on abortion ‘annoying’

EU finds Erdoğan’s words on abortion ‘annoying’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
EU finds Erdoğan’s words on abortion ‘annoying’

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s has said that ‘every abortion is an Uludere, every abortion is a murder.’ AA Photo

To liken abortions to the botched air strike at Uludere, in which 34 civilians were killed after being mistaken for terrorists, is incomprehensible according to senior European diplomats, who are increasingly expressing worries over Turkish democracy.

“There is no European Union acquis on abortion. There are countries where abortion is forbidden. It’s up to Turkey to decide on the issue, but making [a] comparison with [the] Uludere case is annoying,” a senior diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News in reference to PM Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement last week that “every abortion is an Uludere, every abortion is a murder.”

Health Minister Recep Akdağ has said his ministry is drafting a law to ban or restrict abortion, and stated that babies born out of incidents of sexual assault would be protected by the state. The government will also take measures to reduce the number of Caesarian sections, he said.

Despite growing optimism for an accelerated negotiation process following the French parliamentary elections in mid-June, the government’s fading interest in accession talks with the EU brings additional problems to the process. Evidence of this can be seen in the growing disharmony surrounding laws passed by the Parliament to meet EU standards.

“The EU has a significant expectation from Turkey: full accord with the EU standards. We want 100 percent harmony. You have no chance with 50 percent harmony, or not to implement [EU standards] that you don’t like,” Jean-Maurice Ripert, head of the EU delegation in Ankara, said according to daily Cumhuriyet.

One example of this disharmony is the social security law endorsed by Parliament last month. The law does not give public servants the right to strike, which is incompatible with the EU acquis. The government has also forbidden the aviation sector from striking, in reaction to a strike carried out by Turkish Airlines personnel. These laws will make it nearly impossible for Turkey to open a negotiation chapter on social policies, according to some EU diplomats.

A dialogue meeting between Turkey and the EU will be held on June 7, the Daily News has learned. EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who is traveling to Turkey to attend an anti-terrorism conference, and EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle will hold meetings with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and EU Minister Egemen Bağış. A joint press conference is scheduled to follow the meetings. The main topics for discussion are expected to be the turmoil in Syria, Iran’s nuclear program, a joint fight against terrorism and other relevant foreign policy issues.