European Parliament MPs visiting Turkey on human rights
REUTERS photoLawmakers of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) are visiting Turkey from May 16 to May 18, focusing on the human rights effects of the deal between Brussels and Ankara on curbing the migration flow.
The European Union and Turkey reached a deal in mid-March in order to curb the flow of migrants into the bloc.
Marietje Schaake, from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe-ALDE, will head the group visiting Ankara and Istanbul, accompanied by fellow MEPs Arne Lietz and Liliana Rodrigues, both from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.
“The main focus of the delegation’s visit will be the human rights aspects of the EU-Turkey deal reached on 18 March to better manage migration and refugee flows, as well as the general human rights situation in Turkey, including press freedom,” read a part of the statement issued by the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey on May 16.
Other topics to be concentrated on would be the Strasbourg-based parliament’s annual report on Turkey, adopted on April 14, as well as debates on visa liberalization for Turkish citizens held in the parliament session last week.
The MEPs are scheduled to discuss human rights issues and the situation of migrants Turkey with representatives of international organizations and NGOs, while also meeting with government representatives from the EU Affairs Ministry, the Justice Ministry and the Interior Ministry. They will also meet members of the Turkish Parliament and the Turkish ombudsman.
A roundtable will take place with the participation of journalists, academics and legal experts on May 18, during which press freedom and the legal and political framework for the defense and promotion of human rights in Turkey will be discussed.
The DROI group will also visit the editors of Turkish daily newspapers Cumhuriyet and Hürriyet, before
ending their visit with a press conference on May 18.