Motion for a resolution - B8-1280/2016Motion for a resolution

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Turkey

    22.11.2016 - (2016/2993(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

    Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao, Isabella Adinolfi, Rolandas Paksas, Beatrix von Storch on behalf of the EFDD Group

    Procedure : 2016/2993(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
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    Texts adopted :


    European Parliament resolution on the situation in Turkey


    The European Parliament,

    –  having regard to the declaration by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the latest developments in Turkey,

    –  having regard to the annual progress report on Turkey for 2016, published by the Commission on 9 November 2016 (SWD(2016)0366),

    –  having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey,

    –  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights,

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

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

    A.  whereas, on 4 November 2016, Turkish authorities arrested 12 deputies from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including its leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, on a range of terrorism-related charges following the Turkish parliament’s decision in May 2016 to strip parliamentarians of their immunity; whereas the arrests are just the latest escalation in the government crackdown on the Kurdish opposition after the mass closure of media outlets, the ousting of pro-Kurdish mayors and the rolling blackouts of internet access that are used to hinder communications;

    B.  whereas, on 11 November 2016, Turkish authorities arrested the chairman of Cumhuriyet, an opposition daily, a week after the arrest of several senior staff members, including editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, over alleged links to Fethullan Gülen and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an armed group that has been outlawed;

    C.  whereas President Erdoğan’s purge is widening as 370 non-governmental groups, including human rights and children’s organisations, have been shut down over alleged terrorist links and more than 300 people have been arrested or detained in recent weeks; whereas the scale of the crackdown following the attempted coup is appalling, as more than 110 000 people have been sacked or suspended from their jobs and more than 35 000 have been arrested;

    D.  whereas, it has been reported that President Erdoğan is planning to make a proposal in parliament, followed by a referendum, on introducing constitutional changes that would allow him to assume the position of acting executive president, with the possibility of issuing presidential decrees without the need to consult parliament, and of remaining in power until 2029;

    E.  whereas reinstating the death penalty is also on the government’s agenda, and President Erdoğan has said he will approve this measure if it is backed by the parliament;

    F.  whereas a European Parliament delegation to Turkey was cancelled after Turkish authorities refused to meet a Member of the European Parliament taking part in the delegation who had criticised Turkey’s crackdown following the attempted coup;

    G.  whereas, while Turkey is an important partner, it is expected as a candidate country to uphold the highest standards of democracy, including respect for human rights, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and the universal right to a fair trial;

    H.  whereas the Copenhagen criteria for accession are the essential conditions that all candidate countries must satisfy in order to become a Member State; whereas the political criteria require the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities;

    1.  Recognises that, while Turkey is an important partner of the EU, the political will to cooperate has to come from both sides of a partnership; believes that Turkey is not demonstrating this political will, as the government’s actions are further diverting Turkey from its European path;

    2.  Is extremely worried by further backsliding on fundamental rights and the rule of law in Turkey; believes that, following the arrest of the co-chairs of the country’s second largest opposition party, HDP, and the detention of several of its members, parliamentary democracy is close to being compromised in the country;

    3.  Affirms that continued restrictions on the freedom of expression, including the shutting down of media outlets and the arrest of journalists, as well as the ongoing crackdown on the Kurdish minority and on virtually anyone who may oppose President Erdoğan, are clearly contrary to the commitments made by Turkey in its bid to join the EU and to Turkey’s international obligations to uphold human rights;

    4.  Is troubled by the possibility of President Erdoğan pushing for constitutional changes to extend and expand his mandate until 2029, long after his current term expires;

    5.  Recalls that the EU has a strong and principled position against the death penalty and that its abolition worldwide represents one of its main objectives; is extremely worried by the possibility that Turkey may reintroduce it and by President Erdoğan’s declarations on this issue;

    6.  Reiterates Turkey’s importance for the EU and its Member States, but believes that it is painfully evident that the political Copenhagen criteria are no longer being respected by Turkey; calls on the Council, as a consequence, to immediately stop the accession negotiations and to halt the disbursement of funds to Turkey;

    7.  Believes that, under these circumstances, the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement of 18 March 2016, the so-called EU-Turkey migration deal, should also be suspended;

    8.  Calls on the Member States to adopt a common and united position with regard to the developments in Turkey, and on the Commission and the EEAS to continue to monitor the situation in the country while keeping all communications channels open;

    9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the parliament and Government of Turkey.