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Turkey: most critical report ever


12 Mar 2014


Europe's East
The EPP Group has strongly criticised Turkey, a candidate EU Member State since 2005. Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP wrote her most critical Annual Report to date on the negotiations with Turkey. The Report was adopted today by the European Parliament.
The Report welcomes, however, the positive developments and important reforms that have taken place in Turkey over the last year. Oomen-Ruijten mentions the package on democratisation, an action plan on human rights, the negotiations on the Kurdish situation and the development of the South East of Turkey.
The Report points to several major concerns about recent delevepments, especially on laws concerning the separation of powers which seem to end the independence and impartiality of judicial authorities. Above this, there are concerns about laws that limit the freedom of the internet.
"Turkey is backtracking instead of taking steps forward. Measures that limit freedom for the citizens and the press don't fit in a modern society and democratic rule of law."
"If Turkey really wants closer ties with the EU, it needs to make new and genuine efforts and continue reforms. At the moment it looks like Turkey is moving away from the fundamental values of the EU."
The Report requests in particular crucial reforms in the field of justice and fundamental freedoms. A modern democracy is based on a functioning rule of law. "Therefore, we need to hand over the preconditions for opening certain chapters in the accession negotiations in order to keep the pressure on Turkey to reform. These chapters can only be opened if all conditions are met."
Ria Oomen-Ruijten stresses that Turkey should reform not for the sake of the EU, but for the Turkish citizens that benefit the most by creating a modern and prosperous state.
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.
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