The European Parliament called for the official suspension of Turkey’s European Union membership negotiations in its annual report on the country, which passed by 448 votes in favour, 67 against and 107 abstentions on Tuesday.
The European Parliament also said Turkey had shown no improvements on fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law. Deputies agree that the parliament cannot “envisage” resuming accession talks without clear and significant progress on EU-related reforms.
Turkey has gone back on its commitments regarding the accession process and human rights have continued to deteriorate, the European Parliament said. “MEPs regret the sustained legal and administrative pressure on civil society and human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists,” it added. Deputies also called for European funding for “pro-democracy efforts in Turkey”.
By openly defying the binding rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on Osman Kavala and others, including Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, the Turkish Government has “deliberately demolished any aspirations of reopening the EU accession process at this time”, the European body said.
Heavily criticising Turkey, European Parliament Standing Rapporteur Nacho Sánchez Amor said EU values and principles were at risk of falling to the wayside against “geopolitical contingencies”, on Monday ahead of the vote.
If Turkey’s authoritarian slip continues and next year’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections follow the example of the 2019 local elections, when almost all Kurdish mayors were removed from office over trumped up terrorism charges, “I personally cannot believe that the accession process can survive for another five years. Despite it being our best leverage to sustain the battered civil society,” Amor warned.