MEP: Turkey must reverse authoritarian trend to remain a key EU partner

Marietje
Today the European Parliament will vote on the annual progress report on Turkey. The resolution will be the most critical ever adopted of this kind. At the same time Members of European Parliament across the political spectrum are looking for ways to keep developing a constructive working relationship with Turkey. The update of the customs union is welcomed, and the parliament seeks closer cooperation with Turkey on foreign policy matters. MEP Marietje Schaake responds: "The text is significantly sharpened compared to the draft by S&D-rapporteur Kati Piri, who failed to address many urgent issues such as the rule of law, security laws and the serious threats to press and online freedoms. While it is important to acknowledge the importance of the trade and security aspects of our partnership with Turkey, these must go hand in hand with emphasis on the most significant values. It is with deep regret that this year these have come under intensified pressure once more. We call on President Erdogan and his AK Party to reverse the top-down grip and to see the value of democracy and the rule of law. The people in Turkey must know what the EU stands for, and how important the progress in accession talks can be for their wellbeing. The population holds the key to the future of Turkey during the upcoming elections." Update: during the voting session, the vote on the progress report on Turkey was postponed. Watch Schaake's speech in yesterday's plenary debate on the 2014 Progress Report on Turkey.
See also: 20-05-2015 Plenary debate on the 2014 Progress Report on Turkey 22-04-2015 MEPs: We must defend all those standing on the front-line for free speech in Turkey 07-04-2015 Media (CNN) – Schaake: Turkey internet blockade is bad for business 06-04-2015 Media (Bloomberg) – Facebook, Twitter to Appeal as Turkey Blocks Social Media 31-03-2015 MEP responds to acquittal 236 suspects in Balyoz/Sledgehammer case 25-03-2015 Parliamentary Questions on the Turkish internet bill 27-01-2015 Amendments to 2014 Progress Report on Turkey 18-12-2014 MEP: Business as usual towards Turkey is no longer an option for the EU