European Parliament Turkey Report Highlights Human Rights Concerns, Genocide Resolution
STRASBOURG, France—The Plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (France) adopted the 2014 Turkey progress report on June 10. The report paints a negative image of the human rights situation in Turkey, noting concerns about freedom of expression, decline in democracy, worries about minority rights, the aggressive attitude against Greece, and a rejection of the existence of the Republic of Cyprus.
The report welcomes the high voter turnout at the June 7 election in Turkey; the presence of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the newly formed parliament; as well as the sheltering of 1,600,000 Syrian refugees in the country.
The preamble of the report also mentions “the European Parliament resolution on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.” After Turkey became a candidate country to enter the European Union in 2005, the Armenian Genocide stopped being an issue in the reports. It should be noted, the above mentioned resolution explicitly calls on Turkey to reconcile with its past and recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Article 49 repeats the call to Armenia and Turkey to establish diplomatic ties and open the border between the two countries without preconditions.
President of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) Kaspar Karampetian welcomed the resolution calling on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide, as well as to open the border without preconditions. Karampetian stressed the fact that the European Parliament once again showed that it does not succumb to Turkish pressure, recalling, the threats by Volkan Bozkir, EU Minister and chief negotiator of Turkey, that Turkey will not accept the report if there is any reference to the Armenian Genocide. Rapporteur Kati Piri (Socialists and Democrats, the Netherlands) has already reacted, saying that the European Parliament cannot deny documents which have already been adopted.
The report leaves Turkey’s accession to the EU open; a political process that is has only become more difficult harder the years.
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