Procedure : 2016/2993(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1281/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 24/11/2016 - 8.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1276/2016

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 EU-Turkey relations  (2016/2993(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Angel Dzhambazki, Ruža Tomašić, Jan Zahradil on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on EU-Turkey relations  (2016/2993(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey, in particular those of 27 October 2016 on the situation of journalists in Turkey(1), of 14 April 2016 on the 2015 report on Turkey(2) and of 15 January 2015 on freedom of expression in Turkey: recent arrests of journalists, media executives and systematic pressure against media(3),

–  having regard to the Commission’s 2016 report on Turkey,

–  having regard to previous relevant Council conclusions,

–  having regard to relevant statements by Vice-President/High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn,

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

–  having regard to the Association Agreement between the EU and Turkey of 12 September 1963,

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

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

A.  whereas the European Union, its Member States and Turkey are close partners across a wide range of areas; whereas Turkey is a candidate country and key partner of the EU; whereas Turkey has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1950 and a member of NATO since 1952;

B.  whereas on 15 July 2016 an attempted coup d’état took place in Turkey; whereas the attempted coup d’état failed following a pushback by Turkey’s military and security forces, as well as by ordinary citizens; whereas all mainstream political parties strongly condemned the events; whereas hundreds of people, including many civilians, lost their lives;

C.  whereas in the immediate aftermath the authorities declared a state of emergency, which has been extended for a further three months as of 19 October and gives the executive far-reaching powers to govern by decree;

D.  whereas Turkey has submitted a formal notice of derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights; whereas no derogation can be made from Articles 2, 3, 4(1) and 7 thereof; whereas the Turkish Government has also indicated that it will derogate from 13 articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

E.  whereas, since the failed coup attempt, Turkish authorities have suspended, fired and detained more than 40 000 soldiers, officers, policemen, judges, prosecutors, teachers, journalists and others;

F.  whereas Turkey is ranked 151st in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index; whereas the government’s response to the failed coup has led to the arrest of dozens of journalists and to the closure of numerous media outlets;

G.  whereas hostilities between Turkish state and PKK forces have significantly increased in recent months, resulting in many hundreds of military and civilian deaths; whereas the Turkish military is increasingly involved in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, with one of its primary aims being the prevention of a contiguous Kurdish-controlled region in northern Syria; whereas, to this purpose, the Turkish military is shelling and bombing Kurdish militia in Syria, including those fighting IS/Da’esh;

H.  whereas Turkey is giving refuge to approximately three million people who have fled the war in Syria; whereas Turkey is an important regional power and NATO ally in addressing the consequences of the conflict in Syria, in the international fight against jihadi terrorism in the region, and in tackling the migration crisis in the eastern Mediterranean;

I.  whereas the EU has concluded an agreement with Turkey on the issue of managing refugee and migration flows; whereas this agreement, while being far from perfect, has significantly reduced uncontrolled migration flows to the EU; whereas, after a slow start, the ‘one-for-one’ exchange of migrants and refugees is beginning to function;

J.  whereas the rule of law and fundamental rights are core democratic values, to which Turkey has formally committed through its application for EU membership and through its membership of the Council of Europe;

K.  whereas President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hinted at holding a national referendum on Turkey’s accession talks with the EU; whereas President Erdogan has also suggested Turkey may reintroduce the death penalty;

1.  Deeply regrets the loss of life from terrorist attacks in Turkey and pledges its continued support to the country’s fight against terrorism;

2.  Supports the will of the Turkish people in their aspirations to maintain democratic structures and freedoms, and in their opposition to those forces which threaten them;

3.  Condemns the perpetrators of the attempted coup against the democratically elected government of Turkey and acknowledges the right and responsibility of the Turkish Government to respond to the coup attempt, including by declaring a state of emergency; stresses that authorities should observe the highest possible standards in respecting fundamental rights and the rule of law, in line with Turkey’s international commitments; stresses the need for Turkey to put mechanisms in place that safeguard against abuse and preserve the separation of powers and the rule of law; encourages the Turkish Government to respond to the July coup in a measured, proportionate manner; further reminds the Turkish Government of its responsibility, as a member of the Council of Europe, to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights;

4.  Condemns the intensified crackdown against the media, civil society and political opposition after the failed coup attempt; calls on the Turkish Government to end the increasing use of anti-terror legislation against journalists and the opposition;

5.  Expresses deep concern at the use of the state of emergency to stifle criticism of the Turkish Government through the closure of media outlets and the arrest and imprisonment of journalists; strongly supports the #journalismisnotacrime campaign and believes that a free, pluralistic media reinforces democracy and freedoms in Turkey, as elsewhere;

6.  Calls on Turkey to respect the rights of religious minorities to exercise their freedom of religion or belief and its associated freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly;

7.  Regrets the breakdown of the peace process between the Turkish authorities and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and strongly encourages renewed efforts to find a peaceful resolution to long-standing differences;

8.  Welcomes the role played by Turkey in responding to the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict in Syria, and pledges continued support to the Turkish authorities and aid agencies in Turkey;

9.  Calles for an end to the targeting by Turkish military forces of Kurdish forces in northern Syria engaged in the fight against the IS/Da’esh terrorist organisation;

10.  Encourages the development and improvement of relations between the European Union, its Member States and Turkey across a wide range of areas of mutual interest, including on trade, security and people-to-people contact; urges President Erdogan, therefore, to end his anti-EU rhetoric, to allow visits of EU (elected) officials and to refrain from further undermining democracy and the rule of law in Turkey;

11.  Expresses its hope that two Czech citizens, Markéta Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas, who have been arrested by the Turkish authorities and accused of supporting the Kurdish YPG group in Syria, will be given a fair trial in accordance with the highest international standards, and that their fundamental rights will be guaranteed; requests that the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the EU delegation in Turkey be kept fully informed on the investigations and legal proceedings regarding this case;

12.  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 Government and Parliament of the Republic of Turkey.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0423.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0133.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0014.

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