European Parliament approves resolution on progress of reform in Turkey

European Parliament approves resolution on progress of reform in Turkey

The members of the European Parliament approved on Wednesday a resolution on the progress of reform in Turkey in 2014 that called on Turkey to begin to withdraw its troops from Cyprus.
The report did not make any reference to opening any new chapters on Turkey`s accession to the Union.

The European Parliament reiterated its strong support for the reunification of Cyprus, on the basis of a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement for both communities, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the values and principles on which the EU is founded, for a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with single sovereignty, single international legal personality and single citizenship, with political equality between the two communities and equal opportunities for all its citizens.

“Turkey must begin to withdraw its troops and transfer the Famagusta area to the UN, while the Republic of Cyprus should open the port of Famagusta under EU customs supervision and allow Turkish Cypriots to trade with the EU in a legal manner they say. Turkey should also “refrain from further settlement of Turkish citizens in the occupied areas of Cyprus”, the MEPs said.

They also called on Turkey to transfer the sealed-off area of Famagusta to the UN in accordance with UNSC Resolution 550(1984) and called, in parallel, on Cyprus to open the port of Famagusta under EU customs supervision, in order to promote a positive climate conducive to the successful resolution of the ongoing reunification negotiations, and to allow Turkish Cypriots to trade with the EU in a legal manner that is acceptable to all.

Moreover they said Turkey must allow the Committee on Missing Persons full access to all relevant archives and military zones in the northern part of Cyprus for exhumation and to provide all relevant information that will lead to the discovery of relocated remains.

The EP said that the Turkish Government must sign and ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and underlined the Republic of Cyprus’ lawful right to enter into bilateral agreements concerning its exclusive economic zone.

The MEPs also deplored Turkey’s refusal to fulfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement vis-à-vis all member states, recalling that this refusal continues to have a profound effect on the negotiation process.

An amendment approved by the MEPs reiterated relevant European Court of Human Rights decisions and called on the Turkish Government to immediately stop the violation of the human rights of the Cypriot citizens and stop depriving them of the enjoyment and exercise of their property, religious and other human rights stemming from the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus and the acquis communautaire, as well as the fundamental principles and values of the EU.

MEPs concerned about democracy and fundamental rights in Turkey
Turkey must put its reform process at the centre of domestic policy choices and commit “unequivocally” to democratic rules and principles, which are at the heart of the EU, the MEPs said, urging the country to respect media freedom, free expression and judicial independence and welcome the recent parliamentary elections.

The Parliament called on all political parties in Turkey to work towards the establishment of a stable and inclusive government which should reinvigorate the democratisation process in Turkey and its reform dialogue with the EU.

It also condemned the Turkish government’s attempts to ban access to social media and websites, the intimidation of journalists and other pressures put on them.

EU-Turkey foreign policy cooperation and counter-terrorism dialogue must be stepped up, and Turkey must use all its resources to fight terrorist groups such as the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the MEPs stressed.