Motion for a resolution - B7-0309/2013Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Turkey

11.6.2013 - (2013/2664(RSP))

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 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Willy Meyer, Paul Murphy, Patrick Le Hyaric, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Marisa Matias, Alda Sousa, João Ferreira, Inês Cristina Zuber, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Jacky Hénin, Nikolaos Chountis on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedure : 2013/2664(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Turkey


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 and its provisions on the right to freedom of association and the right to freedom of speech,

–   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1996, especially its Article 19 enshrining freedom of expression and Articles 21 and 22 enshrining freedom of association, recalling also that these provisions guarantee the right to freedom of association and the right to form trade unions, and are defining principles of the International Labour Organisation,

–   having regard to the Commission’s 2012 Progress Report on Turkey (SWD(2012)0336),

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 14 December 2010, 5 December 2011 and 11 December 2012,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the progress report on Turkey,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas, with the accession negotiations, Turkey has committed itself to reforms, good neighbourly relations and progressive alignment with the EU, and whereas these efforts should be viewed as an opportunity for Turkey itself to continue to modernise and to consolidate and further improve its democratic institutions, the rule of law and the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

B.  whereas the Turkish Government has proceeded at a quick pace with neoliberal economic reforms and deregulation linked to the EU accession process, but by contrast political and democratic reforms such as improving respect for human rights are moving forward at a very slow pace;

C. whereas systematic violence against protesters has become a frequent phenomenon in Turkey;

D. whereas the mass demonstrations which began as a protest against a redevelopment project in Gezi Park (Istanbul) have rapidly turned into a protest movement against oppression, in reaction to police brutality and the violence inflicted on the protesters in Taksim Square;

E.  whereas according to human rights organisations and doctors’ unions, the violence of recent days has now spread across the country, with four people killed and at least 1 500 injured in Istanbul, and more than 700 injured in Ankara;

F.  whereas tear-gas canisters were widely used by the police against initially peaceful protests, and many more canisters were dropped from helicopters above residential areas devoid of protesters; whereas on several occasions tear-gas canisters were shot into homes, in violation of the principles of necessity and proportionality;

G. whereas there are serious accusations that the Government of Turkey had attempted to block social networks and cut internet access, in an attempt to arrest the flow of information from the scenes of the anti-government rallies; whereas Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the social media ‘a menace’;

H. whereas the massive demonstrations have highlighted the political instability in the country; whereas, although the popular mobilisations represent a broad ideological spectrum, they nonetheless constitute a clear externalisation of anger on the part of the Turkish people directed at the government of Erdogan and his ruling AKP party;

I.   whereas the pursuing and implementation of a pro-Islamic agenda has created rifts and conflicts among different social, political and economic groups in Turkey;

J.   whereas the protests and the massive participation shows that people are facing multiple and deep-rooted problems, as economic growth in Turkey is not being accompanied by an improvement in the living standards of the people, while Turkish citizens and workers do not enjoy obvious rights and freedoms, and wages and benefits are very low;

K. whereas another major cause of dissatisfaction is associated with Erdogan’s foreign policy in relation to Syria, as the interventionist stance on the civil war in Syria, through cooperation with the opposition forces and even within the borders of the country, has transferred the war climate of the neighbouring country into Turkey;

L.  whereas Turkish anti-riot police are targeting political parties, and an attack in the offices of the political party TKP and the Nazim Hikmet Cultural Centre has been reported;

M. whereas on the morning of 11 June 2013 the riot police moved back into Taksim Square, using tear-gas and water cannons;

N. whereas Turkey has already been condemned three times by the European Court of Human Rights for violating the rights of those participating in demonstrations and mistreatment of detainees;

O. whereas Turkey, as a candidate for EU accession, has the obligation to respect and promote democracy and reinforce democratic and human rights and freedoms; whereas the Commission’s 2012 Progress Report on Turkey noted the allocation of EUR 810 million from the Instrument of Pre-accession Assistance to judiciary and police reform;

P.  whereas the democratic right to protest is increasingly under threat as the anger of people all over the world against neo-liberal and anti-social policies increases;

1.  Strongly condemns the state violence of the Turkish Government against the demonstrators and the people of Turkey;

2.  Strongly condemns the targeting of political parties by the Turkish riot police;

3.  Calls on the Turkish Government to stop immediately the violence against the demonstrators and to release all peaceful protesters currently detained;

4.  Expresses its solidarity with the demonstrators’ demands for respect for democracy and democratic and human rights and freedoms; believes that civic rights, women’s rights and social and economic rights should not be undermined by any religion;

5.  Condemns the attempts of the main Turkish electronic mass media to silence the events;

6.  Underlines the importance of zero tolerance towards violence against peaceful protesters, and calls for the setting up of an independent and impartial commission of inquiry into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment and the use of force by law enforcement officials, with the participation of human rights organisations, demonstrators’ committees and all others involved;

7.  Calls on the Turkish Government to put an end to its authoritarian style of governing and to hold talks with the protesters’ organisations, in order to avoid an escalation of the violence, which will result in more victims;

8.  Calls for the immediate release of the 10 000 political prisoners, many of them left-wing or Kurdish activists, as well as journalists, who are detained in conditions that are contrary to the rule of law;

9.  Calls on the Turkish Government to re-examine its social, political, cultural and economic policies, which are the main cause that led to the popular uprising, since the incident in the Gezi Park was merely an excuse that triggered the situation;

10. Condemns the statements made by Turkish officials which, instead of helping to normalise the situation, continue to be inflammatory and are causing more unrest in the country;

11. Is concerned that civil society organisations in Turkey continue to face fines, closure proceedings and administrative obstacles, and that trade unionists and workers’ rights are not fully respected; calls on the Turkish Government to immediately implement the new legislation in the area of labour and trade union rights in order to ensure that it is in line with the EU acquis and the ILO conventions, especially as regards the right to strike and the right to collective bargaining;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, the President of the European Court of Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Grand National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey.