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No grounds for resuming accession negotiations with Ankara!


13 Jun 2022



Today the European Parliament adopted its progress report on Turkey. Drafted by S&D MEP Nacho Sánchez Amor, the report points out that despite some improvements during the last period in high-level contacts between the EU and Turkey, tensions are now back on the rise.  Ankara clearly has no political will to stop the continuous backsliding on democracy and human rights, as shown by the recent life sentence given to activist Osman Kavala.

The S&Ds urge Ankara to end its authoritarian drift and stop accommodating Russia. Turkey should instead support NATO enlargement for Finland and Sweden, and align with the EU sanctions imposed against the Kremlin in response to the Russian war against Ukraine.

Without significant progress in the current disastrous situation for freedom and the rule of law in Turkey, the European Union cannot envisage resuming accession negotiations with Turkey, which have effectively been at a standstill since 2018, warns the report adopted on Tuesday.

S&D MEP Nacho Sánchez Amor, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey, said:

“What we see in Turkey is a deliberate regression, eroding fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in a country that was once an inspiring democracy. Now the authoritarian spiral seems to have no end, taking the democratic hopes of several generations of Turks down the drain. If there is no change in this trend, I personally don’t believe that the accession process can survive five more years.  

“Turkey’s attempt to mediate in the war in Ukraine was welcome, even if it failed. But Turkey must understand that this role will not buy our silence faced with a further crackdown on democratic values. In addition, Turkey has not just refused to join the EU sanctions against Russia, it is also inviting Kremlin kleptocrats to enjoy the Turkish coast – and bring their investments – it is issuing credit cards to thousands of Russian citizens and increasing flights to Russia. Seen as a whole, it looks pretty much like a system to circumvent sanctions.

“If the war in Ukraine marks the division between democracies and authoritarian systems, it is obvious that Turkey is not in our camp, as the model of society that President Erdoğan offers to its society is actually the Russian one. And Turkey’s irresponsible threat to veto Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO is a longed-for political gift for the Kremlin, which is always looking for divisions between allies. By acting like this, Turkey is wasting its potential geopolitical role, reinforcing its bad image and deepening its isolation.”