Turkey decisive in continuing efforts to join EU despite parliament report
Turkey has slammed a report approved by the European Parliament which calls on the European Union to suspend the accession process should the candidate country not fulfill criteria and reiterated that it will decisively continue its efforts to join the EU as a strategic goal.
“This unilateral and, by no means objective, report, adopted in a period when efforts are made to revive Turkey-EU relations on the basis of the EU membership perspective within the framework of a positive agenda, is unacceptable,” read a statement by the Foreign Ministry late May 19.
“We reject this biased text which not only includes false allegations regarding human rights, democracy, the rule of law, our governmental system and political parties, and views Turkey’s effective, solution-oriented, humanitarian and enterprising foreign policy as a threat, but also reflects the completely unfair and biased Greek and Greek Cypriot arguments regarding the Aegean, the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus issue and supports the one-sided and inconsistent Armenian narratives regarding the 1915 events,” it added.
The report reflects a lack of vision by trying to open the future of Turkey’s accession negotiations to discussion, the ministry stated, “EU membership is a strategic goal for Turkey and will be beneficial for all of Europe and beyond. Turkey will decisively continue its efforts in line with this objective.”
“As a candidate country, Turkey expects the EP to carry out constructive efforts about how relations can be improved with Turkey and how it can contribute to Turkey’s EU integration process, rather than being a platform for baseless allegations and blind accusations against Turkey,” it read.
Ties at historically low point
Members of the European Parliament adopted the report, warning that relations between Turkey and the European Union were at a “historic low point.”
The text was passed with 480 votes in favor, 64 against and 150 abstentions. Rapporteur Nacho Sánchez Amor said the report was “probably the toughest yet in its criticism of the situation in Turkey.”
Parliamentarians said Turkey had distanced itself from European values and continued backsliding in the field of the rule of law and human rights.
“Because the accession process is not driving democratic reforms, the European Parliament is committed to include democratic conditionality in every aspect of our relationship,” said Sánchez Amor.
The report, however, described Turkey as a key partner for stability in the region and for combatting terrorism and cooperating with Europe in handling the refugee problem stemming from the Syrian civil war.
Report suggests ban on Grey Wolves
In a separate statement, the ministry also slammed the report for calling on the EU and its member states to examine the possibility of adding “Grey Wolves” to the EU’s terror list, to ban their associations and organizations in EU countries.
The Grey Wolves is a movement of nationalist groups. The French government has recently banned the group’s activities on its territories.
“This wording demonstrates how the European Parliament, which is supposed to be the defender of freedom of expression and thought, is contradictive and prejudiced. While the activities of the PKK/PYD/YPG and FETÖ-affiliated associations are tolerated by some EU member states under the pretext of freedom of expression and demonstration, a call for including a legal movement, which is stated as associated with a long-established political party in our country, into the EU Terrorist Organizations List and proposing to ban its affiliated associations in the countries where they legally operate can only be defined as a case of lapsus mental,” it said.
Racism and fascism are concepts that belong to western political jargon, and this political line should not be confused with the perception of nationalism in Turkey, the ministry stated, “Especially, such slanders, fabricated by the anti-Turkey Armenian diaspora as well as PKK and FETÖ circles, and used by Western politicians for their domestic political agenda are unacceptable. In addition to the false allegations in the report about our country, a call for restricting fundamental rights and freedoms is another indicator of how the EP is detached from the reality and European values.”