EU minister warns European Parliament on amendments
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
AA PhotoEuropean Union Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkır has sent letters to senior European Parliament figures, urging them to consider proposals to amend an upcoming report on Turkey, warning that Ankara has “sensitivities over three topics in particular.”
A planned vote on approving the report on Turkey on May 21 was postponed because of the lack of time for political groups in the European Parliament to discuss proposals for amendments.
In letters sent to European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Elmar Brok, and the leaders of party groups in the parliament, Bozkır expressed Turkey’s concerns about some amendment proposals in the report, which will be voted on in June.
He stressed that any mention in the report regarding the European Parliament’s April 15 resolution recognizing the 1915 mass killing of Ottoman Armenians as genocide, or any call to exclude the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations, would “not be acceptable” for Turkey, diplomatic sources said.
In his letter dated June 1, Bozkır also said any call to block opening new negotiation chapters for Turkey, or to lift financial assistance to Turkey, would make the report “unacceptable” for Ankara.
Bozkır added that the report should not include a “one-sided” perspective that could negatively influence the ongoing talks for reunification of Cyprus, according to the sources.
The European Parliament adopted the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and detailed the EU’s policy on the matter on March 12, calling on EU member states to recognize the 1915 killings as “genocide.”