1 September 2016
Following his visit to Turkey, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz stated:
“Today’s meetings were a good opportunity to hold a frank, open and productive discussion on the state of EU-Turkey relations after weeks of undue estrangement.
Turkey is a partner and a candidate country to the European Union. We must be able to speak openly to highlight progress, but also to engage constructively in the challenges faced.
Today, I once again firmly and clearly condemned the attempted coup. The European Parliament’s support for democracy in Turkey remains unequivocal. I have paid tribute to the courage of Turkish citizens who took to the streets to defend democracy and derailed the plan of the plotters. It was their civic vigilance and the unity of Turkish political forces that stood up for democracy. Some paid the highest price for this: they deserve all our memory and gratitude. Today I also expressed my condolences for all the victims of the heinous terrorist attacks which have hit the country.
The attempt against democracy was paramount and required exceptional measures to safeguard the democratic institutions. Yet the exceptional nature of the measures and of the state of emergency should not fail the test of proportionality and of the rule of law.
We must also always remember, in Europe and beyond, that democracy is much more than the simple act of voting: democratic standards require pluralism, a vibrant press, a separation of power and free parliamentarians with an independent mandate. Today I also paid tribute to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey which had been directly targeted by the plotters.
Turkey is facing momentous challenges: a deadly civil and proxy war at its doorstep, continuous turmoil in the South-East of the country, a looming terrorist menace both within and at its border, the refugee and migrant crisis, and a complex economic situation. Turkish citizens are showing remarkable resilience.
Some of these challenges are testing the EU as well. Our cooperation, shared intelligence and expertise are essential to confront these multiple crisis. Our ties are strong and must be deepened. Turning our backs to each other would only harm citizens on both sides.
Today, I have reiterated the European Parliament’s continued willingness to commit to the terms of the 18 March EU-Turkey statement, including with regards to visa liberalisation, on the condition that the required benchmarks are fulfilled. The European Parliament remains a committed supporter in advancing and deepening EU-Turkey relations.”
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CHP President Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was born in Nazimiye District of Tunceli Province in 1948. He continued his primary and secondary education in various places like Erciş, Tunceli, Genç and Elazığ. He studied economics at Ankara University in Ankara, from which he graduated in 1971.
After university, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu entered the Ministry of Finance as deputy accountant. He was later promoted to accountant and sent to France for additional professional training. In 1983, he was appointed deputy director general of Revenue Administration attached to the same ministry. In 1991, Kılıçdaroğlu became director general of the social security administration, Bağ-Kur. The following year he was appointed director general of the other social security administration, SSK. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was named in 1994 "Civil Servant of the Year" by the weekly periodical "Ekonomik Trend”. Before retiring in 1999, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had served for a while as the deputy undersecretary in Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
He taught in Hacettepe University for a short period. He chaired the ad-hoc committe of informal economy, established during the preperatory works for Turkey’s 8th five–year Economic Development Plan. He was one of the Board Members of Turkish Is Bank.
Following the 2002 general elections, he entered Parliament as member of parliament from Istanbul. He was re-elected to parliament in 2007. He became the deputy speaker of his party's parliamentary group. Kılıçdaroğlu was elected as Chairman of Republican People’s Party at the Party’s Congress in Istanbul on May 22nd.
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