Kürkçü on EU progress report:"the mountain gave birth to a mouse"

HDP İzmir MP, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, said that "The European Union progress report on Turkey can be summarised like this: the mountain has given birth to a mouse”.

HDP İzmir MP, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, said that "The European Union progress report on Turkey can be summarised like this: the mountain has given birth to a mouse”.

This report, said Kürkçü, is no harder than the previous ones. “Indeed - he said - it would seem like the report maybe namely written by the EU and the European Commission, but in fact it bares hallmarks of the Turkish presidency and the government of Turkey”. According to Kürkçü there is a kind of “mild” attitude the EU keeps adopting towards Turkey, despite all the proved violations of human rights. A mild attitude “justified - said Kürkçü - by the many agreements with Turkey the EU is not willing to give up, beginning from the agreement on migrants”.

Analysing a bit more in detail the new report, we can see the political criteria the EU has put on the table.

Recognising that “The state of emergency declared in the wake of the attempted coup of 15 July 2016 remains in force”, the EU stated that “immediately and strongly condemned the attempted coup, reiterated its full support for the country's democratic institutions, and recognised Turkey's legitimate need to take swift and proportionate action in the face of such a serious threat. However, the broad scale and collective nature, and the disproportionality of measures taken since the attempted coup under the state of emergency, such as widespread dismissals, arrests, and detentions, continue to raise serious concerns. Turkey should lift the state of emergency without delay”.

Using the policy of double discourse the EU while recognising that “The situation in the south-east has continued to be one of the most acute challenges for the country” it added that “The government's pledge to continue security operations, against the background of recurrent violent acts by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which remains on the EU list of persons, groups and entities involved in acts of terrorism, remained as a defining element of the situation in the region. While the government has a legitimate right to fight against terrorism, it is also responsible for ensuring the respect for human rights, rule of law, fundamental freedoms and the proportionate use of force”.

Since the introduction of the state of emergency, over 150,000 people were taken into custody, 78,000 were arrested and over 110,000 civil servants were dismissed.

As o the guarantees and respect for human and fundamental rights, the EU report states that “The Turkish legal framework includes general guarantees of respect for human and fundamental rights, which have however been further challenged and undermined by a number of emergency decrees. The serious backsliding on the freedom of expression continued, an area where Turkey is at an early stage of preparation. The scope of actions taken under the state of emergency has been extended over time to many critical voices, in media and academia amongst others, in contradiction with the principle of proportionality. Criminal cases against journalists – more than 150 of them remain detained – human rights defenders, writers, or social media users, withdrawal of press cards, as well as the closure of numerous media outlets or the appointment by the government of trustees to administer them, are of serious concern and are mostly based on selective and arbitrary application of the law, especially provisions on national security and the fight against terrorism”.

Until here the kind of mild reproaches the Izmir MP was talking about. Then the much warmer section on the progress.

The report underlines that “Turkey made good progress in the area of migration and asylum policy and remained committed to the implementation of the March 2016 EU-Turkey Statement effective management of migratory flows along the Eastern Mediterranean route. As regards the implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Roadmap, at the beginning of February, Turkey submitted to the European Commission a work plan outlining how Turkey plans to fulfil the seven outstanding visa liberalisation benchmarks”.

Ertuğrul Kürkçü underlined that Turkey is not fulfilling its obligation not just with respect to the European Union but also with respect to the UN and listed the rights that have been suspended with the declaration of the State of Emergency, which was extended for the 7th time on Wednesday.

Among the rights suspended that to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, political rights etc.

Kürkçü MP noted that such a country which walk over fundamental rights should indeed be the shame of the EU. On the contrary the UE shows patience and will to continue excuse Turkey for all sort of abuses.