Progress Report on Turkey
The resolution rightly acknowledges Turkey’s importance as a strategic partner of the EU, with a crucial role in the fight against terrorism and instability in the Middle East. I also welcome the call for Northern Cyprus to be allowed to trade with the EU.
The resolution makes some fair criticisms of Turkey. Turkey must respect the rights of religious minorities, take effective action against corruption, and take tougher measures to combat irregular migration. On the other hand, the resolution criticises Turkey’s stance on Cyprus without acknowledging that the EU has yet to honour its commitment to end the isolation of Northern Cyprus. It notes the importance of energy issues but does not call for the opening of Chapter 15 of the acquis, which would help to reduce our reliance on Russian gas.
The reference to the April 2015 resolution, urging Turkey to recognise the ‘Armenian genocide’, is deliberately and unnecessarily provocative and could undermine EU-Turkey relations at a time when we need to be encouraging Turkey’s democratic and liberal instincts.
Since the resolution combines valid points with some negative ones, as well as gratuitous attacks on Turkey, I abstained.
10 June 2015