Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament discusses Turkey 2022 draft report

The Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament discussed the Turkey 2022 draft report.

The European Parliament convened under the chairmanship of David McAllister. MEPs attending the meeting expressed their views on the draft report prepared by Spanish MP and rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor.

MEPs in the Foreign Relations Committee evaluated European Union-Turkey relations, following the Presidential and parliamentary elections held in Turkey. EU Commission and EU Foreign Relations Service officials spoke about EU-Turkey relations.

The 2022 European Parliament Turkey Report was expected to be announced in April. However, it was delayed due to the elections held in Turkey in May. After the draft report is finalized, it is expected to be voted by the committee, and then by the General Assembly this summer.

The draft report said, among other things, that the European Parliament is  “dismayed by the fact that, far from the negative trend stopping or being reversed, the democratic backsliding in Türkiye has continued in the last year, with new legal reforms and a relentless crackdown on any critical voice, particularly ahead of and during the recent elections; affirms with regret that Türkiye has now become a global showcase for all kinds of authoritarian practices;

-Remains deeply concerned about the lack of independence of the judiciary, the continued breach of the obligation to abide by the landmark rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, the serious restrictions on fundamental freedoms – particularly freedom of expression and of association – and the constant attacks on the fundamental rights of members of the opposition, lawyers, journalists, academics and civil society activists in Türkiye; is particularly worried by the continued crackdown on Kurdish politicians, journalists, lawyers and artists; expresses concern about the deterioration of the rights of women and the constant targeting and harassment of LGBTI+ people, both of whom could see their rights further curtailed by the possible amendments to Türkiye’s constitution;

-Expresses its strong concern over the continued hyper-concentration of power in the Turkish presidency, without any effective checks and balances, which has seriously eroded the democratic institutions in the country.”

The draft report “concludes that the Turkish Government has no interest in closing the persistent and growing gap between Türkiye and the EU on values and standards, as it has shown, for the past few years, a clear lack of political will to carry out the necessary reforms to address, in particular, the serious concerns about the rule of law and fundamental rights that continue to negatively affect the country’s EU accession process.”