EP won’t remain silent against violations of freedoms in Turkey, says Turkey rapporteur

The European Parliament (EP) won’t remain silent in the face of Turkey's latest violations of fundamental freedoms, regardless of the country's geopolitical role, Nacho Sanchez Amor, the EP’s Turkey rapporteur said.

Turkey has a problem with democracy, but it is Ankara and not Turkish society to be blamed for this, Amor said during a speech at the plenary debate on the EP Turkey report in Strasbourg on Monday.

“Turkey is not [President] Erdoğan and Erdoğan is not Turkey,” he said.

The European Parliament, the highest political body of the EU, is set to vote on Amor’s most recent report on Turkey on Tuesday.

Ankara opened accession talks with the EU in 2005, pledging to strengthen its democracy, guarantee rule of law and match regulations governing the economy with those of the 27-member bloc. The EU froze talks on the chapters of Turkey’s accession following a military coup attempt in 2016, when it strayed further from Europe’s democratic standards.

EU remains a club of advanced democracies, and at the heart of the report lies the current disastrous state of democratic standards in Turkey, Amor said.

“Even more seriously, this is not only a matter of its poor state, but the consolidated tendency to worsen,” he said.

Turkey’s case concerns a deliberate regression from a better situation, according to the EU lawmaker.  

Turkish men and women are witnessing how their democratic hopes go down the drain in an authoritarian spiral that seems to have no end, Amor said.

“An authoritarian character that is, at this point, when all alibis have failed, a state policy, fully deliberate, programmed and executed – with terrifying coldness – by the ruling elite,'' according to Amor. “A repression over an increasingly helpless, sectarian-informed society, maintained with media doses that prove pathological of a nationalism that puts the rights of the nation far above the happiness of its citizens.”

In a few months, it is likely that the third largest party in the country, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), supported by almost 6 million citizens in Turkey, and which won almost 100 mayorships, will be made illegal, Amor said.

All of that is just for going to elections with fewer obstacles, according to the member of the European Parliament.

“If those future elections confirms this tendency, I personally cannot believe that the accession process can survive for another five years,” he added.

Amor is a member of the EP sitting on the foreign affairs and human rights commissions.


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