Procedure : 2016/2935(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1158/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 26/10/2016 - 15

Votes :

Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation of journalists in Turkey (2016/2935(RSP))

Marine Le Pen, Edouard Ferrand, Mireille D’Ornano, Marcel de Graaff, Gerolf Annemans, Janice Atkinson, Harald Vilimsky, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser on behalf of the ENF Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation of journalists in Turkey (2016/2935(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 26 October 2016,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the situation of press freedom has considerably worsened over the last ten years in Turkey; whereas the country ranked 151st on the World Press Freedom Index of Reporters without Borders in 2016, while its ranking in 2005 was 98th;

B.  whereas freedom of speech and freedom of the press are essential and fundamental components of any democracy;

C.  whereas Turkey is still a candidate for EU membership;

D.  whereas the Turkish Government is abusing the state of emergency and the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016 to severely restrict freedom of speech and media freedom;

E.  whereas, according to Reporters without Borders, 89 journalists were arrested during the first six weeks of the state of emergency, and 104 media outlets closed, with over 2 300 journalists subsequently losing their jobs and at least 330 journalists having their press accreditation revoked; whereas countless other journalists are currently in detention in police holding cells, have been detained and released without charge, or have not yet been detained but have had a detention warrant issued against them;

F.  whereas numerous and systematic violations of press freedom also occurred before the failed coup attempt and the subsequent state of emergency, the most notorious cases being the investigation for terrorism and espionage in May 2015 of the Cumhuriyet newspaper for having posted a video and news report showing trucks laden with weapons for jihadists in Syria, the arrest of that newspaper’s editor Can Dündar and journalist Erdem Gül in November, the police raid on the Ipek media group’s TV stations and newspapers and the firing of its journalists in October 2015, and the government takeover of the newspaper Zaman in March 2016;

G.  whereas journalists are not only targeted by governmental or judicial actions but also by mob violence, such as the attack on the Hürriyet newspaper by a crowd led by an AKP parliamentarian in September 2015, and the beating-up of Hürriyet journalist Ahmet Hakan by four men;

H.  whereas the violations of media freedoms in Turkey have also affected citizens of European countries such as the German satirist Jan Böhmermann and the Dutch journalist Ebru Umar;

I.  whereas thousands of websites are currently being blocked in Turkey; whereas, according to Human Rights Watch, the Turkish authorities were responsible for almost three quarters of worldwide requests to Twitter for the removal of tweets and blocking of accounts in the first six months of 2015;

J.  whereas the violation of freedom of speech and freedom of the media is not the only structural problem in Turkey; whereas such problems also include, inter alia, the treatment of religious and other minority groups, the refusal to recognise the Republic of Cyprus, and the ambiguity regarding terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq;

1.  Calls on the Government of Turkey to respect all conditions of democracy and the rule of law, and to stop discriminating against citizens with regard to freedom of speech and other fundamental rights;

2.  Calls on the Council to put an end to the negotiations on accession of Turkey to the EU;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States and the Government of Turkey.

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