Turkey rejects ‘biased’ accession report of the European Parliament

Turkey rejected the European Parliament’s latest report on the country’s EU accession, arguing that it was “biased”.

The EU’s top legislative body has lost its credibility in the eyes of the Turkish people, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The parliament approved the accession report earlier in the day.

“While the need to strengthen the relations between our country and the EU through mutual efforts is evident, we do not accept and reject the EP's biased and unrealistic assessments in the report, that ignores this need with a shallow and visionless approach,” the ministry said.

“The unfounded opinions contained in the report are of no use to us,” the ministry said.

In adopting the report by 448 votes to 67 votes, the European Parliament said it could not envisage resuming EU accessions talks with Turkey without significant and clear steps from the country on EU-related norms. There were 107 abstentions.

Turkey has made no improvements on fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, according to the report prepared by Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor.

The approach of the EP, which even tolerates members of terrorist organisations in the legislative body and terrorist propaganda, is not surprising, the ministry said.

“Thus, the EP has lost its credibility in the eyes of the Turkish public,” it said.

Pointing to the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Turkey, MEPs expressed regret over the ongoing “legal and administrative pressure on civil society and human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists”.

Parliament said it would only approve a final agreement on EU plans for updating the Customs Union with Turkey “if necessary democratic conditions on human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect of international law and good neighbourly relations are met.”

Turkey 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.

 

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