E.U. Rapporteur report calls for suspending Turkey’s accession talks

Kati Piri, Special E.U. Rapporteur on Turkey attended a press conference on Tuesday to discuss her 2018 Commission Report on Turkey. According to the Rapporteur’s recommendations, the European Union must give up accession deliberations with Ankara upon a series of violations recorded on a number of pre-accession chapters. The Dutch Member of the European Parliament (MEP) underscored longstanding human rights violations, such as the arrest of over 100.000 citizens and the greater concentration of executive authority under the mandate of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The European Parliament will vote on Wednesday on the particular report and its recommendations. The European Parliament possess an advisory function to accession talks, which are handled by the European Council. The European Council is the supreme executive institution and is comprised by the leaders of E.U. member-states, the Commission and Council Presidents, Jean Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, respectively. Nonetheless, the European Parliament decisions often influence the final outcome of accession deliberations. The Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has already endorsed the Dutch rapporteur’s report on Turkey since 20 February. However, it needs to secure ratification from the general assembly of the Parliament which takes place on Wednesday before transferring the issue to the ranks of the European Council.

The Dutch Rapporteur’s recommendation for suspending talks was embraced by several MEPs. The running President for the present term of European Parliament, Romania’s Foreign Minister Melania Gabriela Ciot took the lead from the Dutch Rapporteur and acknowledged that Turkey has drifted away from European values in recent years but deliberations with Ankara must ensue. For his part, the E.U. Commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Johannes Hahn argued that European financial aid must be directed towards Turkey’s civil society and grassroots movements to spur the seeds of democratic culture in Turkey. Finally, the German MEP Renata Sommer acting as spokesperson of the European People’s Party (EPP) supported that the President Erdogan regime has reportedly violated the rule of law, human rights and democratic institutions. For these reasons accession talks with Turkey must be immediately concluded.

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