Motion for a resolution - B8-1171/2016Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of journalists in Turkey

24.10.2016 - (2016/2935(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 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Cristian Dan Preda, Renate Sommer, Elmar Brok, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Manolis Kefalogiannis on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1162/2016

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


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey, in particular that of 15 January 2015 on freedom of expression in Turkey: recent arrests of journalists, media executives and systematic pressure against media[1],

–  having regard to the Commission’s Turkey 2015 report of 10 November 2015,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 16 July 2016 by Vice-President / High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn on the situation in Turkey,

–  having regard to the statement of 21 July 2016 by Vice-President / High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on the declaration of the state of emergency in Turkey,

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

–  having regard to the EU-Turkey High Level Political Dialogue of 9 September 2016,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

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

A.  whereas an attempted coup d’état took place in Turkey on 15 July 2016, in which hundreds of people died and more than 2 100 were injured;

B.  whereas on 20 July 2016 a state of emergency was declared which gives the executive far-reaching powers to govern by decree; whereas the possibility of a temporary derogation is afforded to all Council of Europe member states under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and whereas this applies ‘in time of [...] public emergency threatening the life of the nation’;

C.  whereas the European Court of Human Rights has made it clear that any derogations must be proportionate to the situation and that in no circumstances can a state derogate from Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) or Article 7 (no punishment without law);

D.  whereas on 21 July 2016 Vice-President / High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn stated that the declaration of the state of emergency came in the wake of the recent unacceptable decisions on the education system, the judiciary and the media;

E.  whereas, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Turkish authorities have, following the attempted coup d’état, closed down the offices of more than 100 broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, publishers and distribution companies; whereas more than 100 journalists and media workers have been detained and the press credentials of at least 330 journalists have been revoked;

1.  Strongly condemns the attempted coup in Turkey of 15 July 2016; supports the legitimate institutions of Turkey; deplores the high number of casualties; expresses its solidarity with the victims and their families;

2.  Underlines the importance of defending democracy with a full commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law; supports the cooperation between the EU, the Council of Europe and Turkey in this respect; calls for the full observance of Turkey’s constitutional order; welcomes the EU-Turkey High Level Political Dialogue of 9 September 2016; stresses that Turkey is a key partner of the European Union;

3.  Calls on the Turkish authorities to release journalists and media workers and to allow the reopening of media outlets;

4.  Recalls that a free and pluralistic press is an essential component of any democracy, as are due process, presumption of innocence and judicial independence;

5.  Reminds the Turkish authorities that the utmost care must be taken when dealing with the media and journalists, as freedom of expression and freedom of the media remain central to the functioning of a democratic and open society;

6.  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 and the Government and Parliament of Turkey.