Schulz’s statement following his visit to Turkey

Ankara
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.”
 
For further information:
Giacomo Fassina
Spokesperson
Mobile: +32 498 98 33 10
 

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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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