Turkish Foreign Ministry praises EU progress report resolution

Turkish Foreign Ministry praises EU progress report resolution

Turkish Foreign Ministry praises EU progress report resolution

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. AA photo

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has praised the adoption of the European Parliament’s (EP) 2012 progress report on Turkey, saying resolutions issued by lawmakers are useful to the extent that they are fair and objective.

Members of the European Parliament (MEP) called for the opening of negotiations on the judiciary, fundamental rights and home affairs sections, while also praising recent talks that could lead to a settlement on the Kurdish issue.

“The EP resolution on Turkey highlights a number of positive steps taken in the field of reforms in our country, including the 4th Judicial Package, the Law on the Ombudsman, and the appointment of the first Ombudsman, the Law on the Establishment of the National Human Rights Institution, the Law on the Protection of the Family and the Prevention of Violence Against Women and regarding property rights, and the amendments to the Law on Foundations,” the statement released by the ministry said late April 18, while criticizing some points.

“However, in the resolution there are some inaccurate perceptions and assessments, such as the characterization of the situation created by the PKK’s terrorist activities as an armed conflict. Nevertheless, we welcome the call from the EU member states to increase their cooperation with Turkey in the area of the fight against terrorism. We also note that the terrorist activities perpetrated by the PKK, which is on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations, are strongly condemned,” it added.

The Foreign Ministry statement also said the resolution contained “biased” and “unacceptable” aspects for Turkey. “For instance, the way in which the Uludere incident is portrayed in the resolution is far from balanced and fair. Moreover, the EU’s flawed and biased position regarding the Cyprus issue is regrettably echoed in the EP’s resolution. Under no circumstances will we accept unconstructive attitudes that ignore the sovereign rights of Turkish Cypriots. The EU can help find a solution on the island only by acting impartially and objectively,” it said.

The EP report called on the authorities for an effective and swift investigation and a transparent public inquiry into the Uludere killings, which as of October 2012 have not been met. Thirty-four civilians were killed in a botched air raid in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district in December 2011.

“Turkey is resolutely working towards its goal of accession to the EU and attaches importance to dialogue and cooperation with the EU. Advancing our membership process will open up new opportunities not only for Turkey and the EU, but with global repercussions for the whole region,” the statement said.