Little to none EU perspective for this Turkey, say MEPs  

Press Releases 

Statement by the leading MEPs following the decision of a Turkish court to sentence rights activist Osman Kavala to life in prison.

Parliament Standing Rapporteur for Turkey Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D, ES) and the Chair of the EU-Turkey Parliamentary Delegation Sergey Lagodinsky (Greens/EFA, DE) issued the following statement on Monday.

“Turkey’s judiciary has confirmed the worst of forecasts when convicting today Osman Kavala to aggravated life sentence on the account of allegedly attempting to overthrow the government. This regrettable decision by the Istanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court is in clear contempt to the rulings of the European Court on Human Rights and will surely bring about consequences in the infringement proceedings ongoing at the Council of Europe.

We express our full solidarity with Osman Kavala and the rest of the defendants in this “Gezi” trial -who also received heavy jail sentences- and with their families. Today is a very sad day not only for them but also for those who daily defend fundamental rights and the rule of law in Turkey and for all those who wish to see the country coming closer to the EU. This is obviously not the way to do it.

This decision reconfirms the authoritarian character of the current system and it clearly shows the lack of willingness to make any kind of real reforms in the field of fundamental rights and rule of law. In this view, there is little to none EU perspective for the current Turkey, which is sliding away from international consensus on a rule-based order while disrespecting its own international commitments.

The fact that one of the judges members of the tribunal was a candidate to the National Assembly for the ruling party is just another shocking example of how this case has been marred by political interference. The whole process for the last 4’5 years has been a succession of judicial manoeuvres in utter disregard of fair trial standards.”

For further information, please contact:

Office of Mr Nacho Sánchez Amor, tel. +32 2 284 58 62, e-mail:

Office of Mr Sergey Lagodinsky, tel. +32 2 284 59 12, e-mail: