Reform and headway on Cyprus key to progress in EU-Turkey relations
Ahead of a vote on the European Parliament's progress report on Turkey, Cypriot MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou told MEPs that "events in Turkey should be a cause for concern because such conflict could spark social regression in the country".
Hadjigeorgiou also highlighted the need for Turkey to make urgent progress on the Cyprus issue. "We are in favour of the accession of Turkey to the EU but it remains a necessity that Turkey, as any other candidate country, has to meet all the Copenhagen criteria and conventional obligations it has undertaken to the EU as a whole, first and above all the Additional Protocol" he said.
"We need to see reforms - but the reform process should not force the most vulnerable into labour conditions that resemble the middle ages."
On the Cyprus question, Hadjigeorgiou pointed out that Turkey does not recognise Cyprus' sovereign rights and Cypriots are living under the strain of occupation and division. "The EU and the international community should show solidarity and work towards a bi-communal, bi-zonal solution which will allow the people of Cyprus to live in a demilitarised island."
"We support the re-launching of the negotiations aiming at the reunification of Cyprus based on solution of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, single international legal personality, single sovereignty and single citizenship. The illegal colonisation of the island must be ended."
"The EU needs to push Turkey to allow for the implementation of confidence-building measures, which do not hint at an upgrading of the pseudo-state via direct trade. I also remind you of our proposal for a parallel implementation of Resolution 550 on Famagusta with the operation of the port, and an end to the illegal settlements."
"It is absurd to ask for the opening of chapters (15, 23 24), when Turkey still insists on non-normalization its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and is refusing to recognize or allow Cyprus to implement its sovereign rights."
The vote on the 2013 progress report on Turkey takes place today in Strasbourg.
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group