Turkey's drift away from Europe

Press release
Marietje

Today the European Parliament debates the state of EU-Turkey relations. The European Parliament’s annual report about Turkey is also presented today.

D66/ALDE Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake: “Under the leadership of president Erdogan, Turkey is rapidly drifting away from Europe. The referendum result is a tremendous blow for the people in Turkey who believe that a democratic, European Turkey would best serve stability and rule of law in their country. Now is the time for the European Union to make it very clear that business as usual is no longer possible.

Closed door

At an earlier stage, D66 initiated a call by the European Parliament to freeze accession negotiations with Turkey, until the state of emergency is lifted and the rule of law is respected.

Schaake: “The proposed changes to the constitution in effect close Turkey’s door to the European Union. In addition, Erdogan has proposed a new referendum about the reinstatement of the death penalty. It is clear that it is his intention to provoke the EU, which he sees as an obstacle to implementing his own agenda.”

Constitutional changes

The European Commission now has to talk to the Turkish government about the consequences that the proposed amendments to the constitution have. The constitutional changes will unavoidably change the cooperation between the EU and Turkey, making it more pragmatic.

Schaake: “The Commission and Turkey seem intent on emphasising their cooperation in the field of trade, security and migrations. But for the people in Turkey, who genuinely fear for the future of their country, it is essential that the EU also insists on making democratisation, rights and freedoms a central theme of any future EU Turkey relation."

Follow the debate live here. You can read the report here.