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 Full text 
Tuesday, 6 February 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Current human rights situation in Turkey - Situation in Afrin, Syria (debate)

  Ali Nedzhmi (ALDE). – Madam President, we need a more balanced approach on the status of human rights in Turkey. Misunderstanding and bad judgment of the facts could create a rather negative picture of Turkish society. In order to have a proper EU reaction to the events in a neighbouring country, we need to take into account the real situation there and the reasons for it to emerge.

Parliament should avoid strong condemnation of a country which is one of our closest partners, both in economic and political aspects. Recently, we have started to forget Turkey’s enormous efforts in dealing with the migration crisis and its role in providing asylum to millions of refugees. Despite the fact that this is organised just based on a statement by the EU and Turkey, it contributes effectively to the protection of the external borders of the Union. This is visible in south—east Europe and particularly in my country, Bulgaria. The positive results have been recognised many times by representatives of the Commission who are directly involved in the process. That is why we must show greater respect for our neighbour.

Soon, a formal EU—Turkey meeting will be held, where we expect many of the contradictions to be overcome. At the same time, there are some proposals for the suspension of the accession negotiations. In this regard, questions arise. What is our goal? What kind of effect do we want to achieve? The only result would be the isolation of Turkey and pushing it in another direction. We need Turkey and Turkey needs us for the security of the whole region and the European Union. The aggressive tone of the discussion is not a productive one. I call for a more balanced approach and proposals.

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