The European Parliament should be questioning not Turkey’s EU membership, but AKP’s policies and practices f ound unacceptable.

The European Parliament this week is to discuss the recent developments in Turkey. If a resolution is adopted following the debate, one would expect that the Turkish Government will be criticized and warned over its actions in connection with the Gezi Park protestors. There is however the danger that some in the EP may want to use the occasion to issue a call for the suspension or further slowing down of accession negotiations with Turkey.

Such a call by the EU will be detrimental and wrong for at least three separate reasons:

1. AKP, no longer committed to the goal of EU membership, will exploit the EP’s call against the EU and try to turn it into political advantage domestically.

2. It will further erode the public’s enthusiasm for EU membership which is at a low in any case.

3. Most importantly, it would be a great disappointment for the protesters who are asking for democracy, respect and for fundamental rights and freedoms.

For these reasons, the EP’s message should in fact be in exactly the opposite direction. The EU should applaud the protesters ownership of democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms as a sign of hope for Turkey’s future. In any case, the EP should refrain from establishing a negative linkage between the Gezi Park process and Turkey’s accession negotiations. The EP should be questioning not Turkey’s EU membership, but AKP’s policies and practices found unacceptable.

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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