Motion for a resolution - B8-0079/2018Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the current human rights situation in Turkey

5.2.2018 - (2018/2527(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

Marcel de Graaff, Mario Borghezio, Harald Vilimsky, Matteo Salvini on behalf of the ENF Group

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


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 6 February 2018 on the current human rights situation in Turkey,

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

A.  whereas the Turkish army has launched an offensive in northern Syria in the area of the city of Afrin against the local Kurdish militia and members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG); whereas this offensive is threatening to destabilise the region and, according to the UN, could lead to a massive new refugee crisis that could also affect Europe; whereas according to reports, 5 000 people are already displaced in the city of Afrin and are completely and utterly at the mercy of the Turkish military; whereas the international community has expressed its deep concern about this military operation;

B.  whereas the Turkish Government is using international arrest warrants to track down opponents of the Erdoğan regime, and these repressive practices are increasingly affecting European countries and their citizens;

C.  whereas the rule of law has effectively been suspended since the establishment of the State of Emergency, thus suspending the guarantees of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and generalising the non-guarantee of fundamental rights, both for the Turks and for foreigners; whereas a whole wave of detentions and imprisonments of lawyers, journalists and people from civil society has taken place since the attempted coup d’état on 15 July 2016; whereas according to Reporters without Borders, more than 100 journalists are currently imprisoned; whereas in more than 100 districts and 10 provincial centres elected mayors and officials have been dismissed and replaced by appointees of the Interior Ministry; whereas the political opposition, especially members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), are facing persecution and imprisonment;

D.  whereas the Christian minority in Turkey faces not only repression by the government and its officials but also persecution; whereas Christian cultural heritage has been either seriously damaged or destroyed; whereas since the takeover of President Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has been facing an alarming radicalisation of Islam; whereas the AKP supports the ideas and interests of the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood;

E.  whereas the Turkish Government still does not recognise the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, the northern part of which has been under Turkish occupation since 1974 and is not recognised by the international community; whereas the Christian cultural heritage in the northern part of Cyprus has been vandalised and seriously damaged;

F.  whereas the European Union has frozen the accession negotiations with Turkey; whereas the constitutional reform in Turkey was adopted, which is clearly a step back in the democratic development of the country; whereas the EU is developing a customs union with Turkey and seeking new talks;

1.  Calls on the Member States to put a definitive end to the negotiations on the accession of Turkey to the EU without delay; calls for the definitive suspension of Turkey’s pre-accession funds and for the negotiations on the customs union between the EU and Turkey to be stopped;

2.  Calls for an immediate retreat of the Turkish armed forces from Syrian territory and for an immediate ceasefire; underlines that every possible measure must be taken to avoid a new humanitarian crisis; heavily condemns any further military actions in Syria by the Turkish military; is concerned about the humanitarian situation in the region; fears that the offensive of the Turkish Army could lead to a new refugee crisis in this area, as 5 000 people are already displaced in the region, and that this could also affect Europe and the EU; reminds the Turkish Government that the local Kurdish militia is an important ally against Daesh and other Islamist terrorist organisations;

3.  Recalls that since the AKP came to power, Turkey has been facing a serious radicalisation of Islam, not only in theory but also in practice;

4.  Recalls that the existence of the Christian minority in Turkey is seriously threatened because of the ongoing repression and persecution by the Turkish Government and its officials; condemns any persecution, repression or provocation of Christians in Turkey; condemns also the destruction and damaging of Christian cultural heritage; is concerned about the fact that Christian cultural goods are being sold on black markets; recalls that this method is also common in the Turkish occupied area of Cyprus and has led to the near extinction of Christian cultural heritage in this region;

5.  Stresses that the rule of law in Turkey has been effectively suspended with the establishment of the State of Emergency and that thousands of journalists, lawyers and politicians from the opposition have been either imprisoned or arbitrarily detained as a result; condemns the collective dismissal of civil servants and police officers, the mass liquidation of media outlets, the arrests of journalists, academics, judges, human rights defenders, elected and unelected officials, members of the security services and ordinary citizens, and the confiscation of their property, assets and passports, the closure of many schools and universities, and the travel ban imposed on thousands of Turkish citizens on the basis of emergency decree laws without individualised decisions, and without the possibility of timely judicial review; calls on the Turkish Government to stop the persecution of journalists, activists and the political opposition and to free all those who have been imprisoned without a fair and just trial; recalls that since July 2016 more than 55 000 people have been arrested;

6.  Stresses that Turkey is facing a real threat from terrorism; calls for any cooperation with the Turkish Government on counterterrorism to be suspended until the Turkish anti-terrorist legislation has been amended accordingly and is not being used against democratic political opposition, free speech or religious minorities;

7.  Recalls that the violation of freedom of speech and freedom of the media is not the only structural problem in Turkey, but also, inter alia, the treatment of religious and other minority groups, the refusal to recognise the Republic of Cyprus and the ambiguity regarding terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq;

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

Last updated: 6 February 2018
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