Procedure : 2018/2527(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0097/2018

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 08/02/2018 - 12.10
CRE 08/02/2018 - 12.10

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0082/2018

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 current human rights situation in Turkey  (2018/2527(RSP))

Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Martina Michels, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Patrick Le Hyaric, Merja Kyllönen, Marie-Pierre Vieu, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Barbara Spinelli, Eleonora Forenza, Nikolaos Chountis, Rina Ronja Kari, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Tania González Peñas, Xabier Benito Ziluaga on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the current human rights situation in Turkey  (2018/2527(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey, in particular those regarding the annual progress reports, and those of 15 January 2015 on the freedom of expression in Turkey: recent arrests of journalists, media executives and systematic pressure against media(1) and 27 October 2016 on the situation of journalists in Turkey(2),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on Turkey of 18 July 2016,

–   having regard to the statements by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights,

–  having regard to the Commission Annual Progress reports on Turkey,

–  having regard to the fact that respect for the rule of law, in particular the freedom of expression, is at the core of the accession process,

–   having regard to the statement of 26 July 2016 by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe on measures taken under the state of emergency in Turkey,

–  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights,

–  having regard to the 1996 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–  having regard to Rule 123 (2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Union and the European Parliament have strongly condemned the failed military coup in Turkey;

B.  whereas Turkey is still a candidate country of the European Union; whereas the use of repressive measures under the state of emergency are not appropriate for a candidate country and are in breach of the democratic values upon which the EU is founded and contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

C.  whereas since the coup the authorities have arrested 12 members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and some 150 journalists, including German journalist Deniz Yücel, the highest number of journalists arrested in any country at present; whereas 40 000 people have been detained, more than 31 000 remain under arrest and 129 000 public employees remain either suspended (66 000) or have been dismissed (63 000), most of whom have had no charges brought against them to date; whereas many human rights defenders, including Amnesty International’s key officials in Turkey, have also been arrested; whereas these arrests constitute a major blow to political freedoms and democracy in Turkey;

D.  whereas the co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ and eight other members of Parliament of the HDP party were arrested on 4 November 2016 by the Turkish police, following the waiver of their immunity through the law voted on 20 May 2016;

E.  whereas at least 50 democratically elected co-mayors have been dismissed and at least 40 co-mayors have been arrested, while the government has appointed trustees to run the majority of municipalities headed by HDP mayors;

F.  whereas this continued assault on human rights by the Turkish Government renders the democratic will of millions of voters null and void and undermines the already weak dynamics of local democracy in the country;

G.  whereas following the attempted coup, the Turkish authorities have also shut down a very large number of media outlets, have arrested Kurdish journalists and others and have prohibited people from writing their opinions on the situation in Turkey; whereas the trial of Cumhuriyet’s journalists is a specific example of this;

H.  whereas the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) should be removed from the EU’s list of terrorist organisations;

I.  whereas Turkey has not yet fulfilled the criteria set for visa liberalisation;

J.  whereas Turkey has removed safeguards against torture and ill-treatment under the state of emergency that was imposed following the attempted coup in July 2016; whereas people accused of terrorism or of being linked to the attempted coup are at risk of torture in police custody;

K.  whereas a large number of people in prison in Turkey are denied access to a lawyer;

L.  whereas paragraph 5 of the Negotiating Framework for Accession Negotiations with Turkey stipulates that the Commission, in the case of a serious and persistent breach of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, will recommend the suspension of negotiations and propose the conditions for their resumption; whereas Turkey no longer sufficiently complies with the Copenhagen criteria as it does not respect the values of Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union; whereas a temporary halt of negotiations would mean that the current talks would be frozen, no new chapters would be opened and no new initiatives would be undertaken in relation to Turkey’s EU accession;

M.  whereas Turkey’s invasion in Syria violates the criteria for being a candidate country;

1.  Recalls its request, in its previous resolution on Turkey, for the accession negotiations to be frozen and for their resumption to be considered only when the rule of law has been restored;

2.  Condemns the extension of the state of emergency announced by the Turkish Government on 5 January 2018;

3.  Strongly condemns the Turkish military intervention in north-western Syria and the violation of Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, which has already caused dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries, including civilians; calls for an arms embargo against Turkey; calls for an immediate end to the invasion and the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the Afrin region;

4.  Strongly condemns all unreservedly unjustified measures taken after the failed coup of July 2016, which have led to the jailing of thousands of people, including public servants, magistrates, lawyers, journalists, academics, HDP MPs, mayors and party executives; equally condemns any provisional detentions based either on political criteria or ungrounded suspicions of ‘praising a terrorist organisation’; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, of all jailed politicians, journalists, academics and human rights defenders, and, in particular, of Taner Kiliç, the president of Amnesty International Turkey and all people held without proof of individual involvement of committing a crime or without any charges presented against them;

5.  Expresses its strong concern at the state of the rule of law, democracy and human rights in Turkey; urges Turkey to defuse the tense political post-coup climate, which has created an environment in which human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of speech in the media and on the internet, have been curtailed;

6.  Calls on the Turkish Government to revise – in line with the European Convention on Human Rights, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, the EU acquis and the practices of the EU Member States – the Turkish legal framework as regards organised crime and terrorism, as well as its interpretation by the courts, security forces and law enforcement agencies, so as to ensure the right to liberty and security, the right to a fair trial and the right, in practice, to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association;

7.  Regrets the fact that Turkey is using the migrants and refugee issue as a negotiating tool with the EU and calls upon all sides to guarantee the respect of all human rights and international law regarding migrants and refugees; calls for the EU and the Heads of States and Governments of the Member States to revoke the EU-Turkey Statement, by putting an end to this agreement without conditioning the visa liberalisation process;

8.  Calls on the Turkish Government to safeguard the human rights of all people, including those living and working in Turkey in need of international protection;

9.  Strongly condemns the increase in the number of torture cases of prison detainees;

10.  Condemns the authoritarian approach taken by President Erdoğan, not only within Turkey but also outside, and the attempts to impose restrictive and oppressive measures on Turkish Cypriot citizens and journalists, with Afrika Newspaper in Cyprus the latest example;

11.  Condemns in the strongest possible terms all terrorist attacks carried out in Turkey, and stands firmly with the people of Turkey;

12.  Condemns all forms of violence and underlines the fact that a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question is also necessary for Turkey’s democratic future, and will only be reached by involving all parties and democratic forces concerned; calls for a resumption of negotiations with a view to achieving a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the Kurdish issue; recalls its position for the removal of the PKK from the EU’s list of terrorist organisations;

13.  Condemns any regression of women’s rights in Turkey and particularly deplores the proposed bill in the Turkish Parliament which would allow men accused of raping underage girls to be cleared if they marry them; condemns President Erdoğan’s statement that he will let those accused of rape go free in order to create space in prisons;

14.  Is concerned about President Erdoğan’s latest statement that there are no LGBTI in Turkey; condemns the statement by the Ankara Governor’s Office of 19 November 2017 regarding the decision to ban indefinitely any event organised by LGBTI organisations; is worried that this follows three consecutive bans of the Istanbul Pride and other pride marches in the region; regrets the fact that, since the statement was issued, other regions have also banned LGBTI events; highlights that this is in gross violation of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as enshrined in Articles 26, 33 and 34 of the Turkish Constitution, as well as Articles 19 and 21 of the ICCPR; calls on the Turkish authorities to immediately revoke the ban and to restore the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly;

15.  Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Member States to take immediate action to stop the invasion of north-western Syria and to put forward initiatives leading to a long-lasting peace solution in Syria; calls on the VP/HR to react to this situation to ensure the respect for democracy and human rights in Turkey;

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


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0014.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0423.

Last updated: 6 February 2018Legal notice