EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

2009 – 2014

Please note that yesterday, always in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted a more general resolution on the "EU enlargment strategy", waiting for the above-mentioned and more specific report on TURKEY. Anyway, please find right here the full text of par.22, the most important one on Turkey, as adopted yesterday:

 

22. Commends the progress that Turkey as a candidate country has made towards fulfilment of the Copenhagen political criteria; urges the Turkish Government and all parliamentary parties in Turkey to establish consensus on the formulation and implementation of key reforms; welcomes the government’s approval of the judiciary reform strategy and points out the crucial importance of its swift implementation for the functioning of the Turkish State and society; is concerned about the situation in the area of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, particularly following the unprecedented fine imposed on a media group; notes with satisfaction the increasingly open public debate in Turkey about previous taboos; regrets the limited progress made in the area of freedom of religion, and urges the government to establish a legal framework in line with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms enabling all non-Muslim religious communities and the Alevi community to function without undue constraints; deplores the continued non-fulfilment of commitments stemming from the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement and urges Turkey to proceed to its full, non-discriminatory implementation; calls on the Turkish Government, as well as on all the parties concerned, to contribute actively to the swift devising of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question, based on UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded; welcomes the efforts to resolve the Kurdish issue in the context of the ‘Democratic Opening’ project; encourages the Turkish Government to take concrete measures to address the situation of citizens of Kurdish origin and asks all political forces to support this process; commends the diplomatic efforts made to normalise relations with Armenia and urges the Turkish Grand National Assembly, as well as the Parliament of Armenia, to ratify the relevant protocols; welcomes Turkey’s signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Nabucco gas pipeline, the implementation of which remains one of the EU’s highest energy security priorities, and calls for the opening of the energy chapter in the accession negotiations; takes note of the resumption of negotiations on a EU-Turkey readmission agreement, and urges Turkey to fully implement, in the meantime, the existing bilateral readmission agreements with the Member States; calls on the Turkish Government to intensify the foreign policy coordination with the EU, in particular regarding Iran; regrets, however, that the NATO-EU strategic cooperation extending beyond the ‘Berlin plus’ arrangements continues to be blocked by Turkey’s objections, which has negative consequences for the protection of the EU personnel deployed, and urges Turkey to set aside those objections as soon as possible.

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Session document 

26.11.2009

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on Turkey’s progress report 2009

Ria Oomen-Ruijten

on behalf of the Committee on Foreign

 B7‑0000/2009

European Parliament resolution on Turkey’s progress report 2009

The European Parliament,

          having regard to the Commission’s Turkey 2009 Progress Report (SEC(2009)1334),          having regard to its previous resolutions of 27 September 2006 on Turkey’s progress towards accession, of 24 October 2007 on EU

-Turkey relations, of 21 May 2008 on Turkey’s 2007 progress report, and of 12 March 2009 on Turkey’s 2008 progress report

,          having regard to the Negotiating Framework for Turkey of 3 October 2005,

          having regard to Council Decision 2008/157/EC of 18 February 2008 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the Republic of Turkey ("the Accession Partnership"), as well as to the previous Council decisions on the Accession Partnership of 2001, 2003 and 2006,

          having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.        whereas accession negotiations with Turkey were opened on 3 October 2005 after approval by the Council of the Negotiating Framework, and whereas the opening of those negotiations was the starting-point for a long-lasting and open-ended process, 

B.        whereas Turkey has committed itself to reforms, good neighbourly relations and progressive alignment with the EU, and whereas these efforts should be viewed as an opportunity for Turkey itself to modernise, 

C.        whereas full compliance with all the Copenhagen criteria and EU integration capacity, in accordance with the conclusions of December 2006 European Council meeting, remain the basis for accession to the EU, which is a community based on shared values, 

D.        whereas the Commission concluded that limited concrete progress was made on political reforms in 2009,  

E.         whereas Turkey has still not, for the fourth consecutive year, implemented the provisions stemming from the EC-Turkey Association Agreement and the Additional Protocol thereto, 

F.         whereas in its Turkey 2009 Progress Report, the Commission has taken up and elaborated on issues highlighted by Parliament in its last resolution on Turkey’s progress, 

1.         Welcomes the broad public debate on a range of traditionally sensitive issues such as the role of the judiciary, the rights of citizens of Kurdish origin, the rights of the Alevi community, the role of the military and Turkey’s relations with its neighbours; commends the Turkish Government for its constructive approach and its role in initiating that debate;

2.         Reiterates its concern about ongoing polarisation within Turkish society and between political parties, and urges the Government as well as all parliamentary parties to work together to unite the whole of society; 

3.         Notes that progress in terms of concrete reforms has remained limited in 2009, and encourages the Government to translate its political initiatives into concrete changes of legislation and their subsequent implementation;

4.         Deplores the fact that, where legislation relevant to the Copenhagen political criteria is in place, its implementation continues to be insufficient, particularly in the area of women’s rights, non-discrimination, zero tolerance of torture and the fight against corruption; 

5.         Calls on Turkey to redouble its efforts to fully meet the Copenhagen criteria and to bring Turkish society together, uniting it on the basis of equality for every human being irrespective of ethnic origin, belief, disability, age or sex;  Fulfilling the Copenhagen political criteria Democracy and the rule of law 

6.         Draws attention once again to the crucial importance of a substantive reform of the constitution which would place the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the core of the Turkish State and society; encourages the Turkish Government to resume work on that reform and calls for the cooperation of all political parties and the involvement of civil society and all minorities; 

7.         Is concerned about the closure case pending against the Democratic Society Party (DTP) before the Constitutional Court, draws attention to the opinion presented by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe in March 2009, which concluded that Turkish legislation governing the closure of political parties is not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and urges the Government to come up with necessary reform proposals, respecting European standards; 

8.         Is of the view that a comprehensive and swift reform of the judiciary is vital for the success of the modernisation process in Turkey; welcomes the Government’s approval of the judiciary reform strategy and notes with satisfaction the broad consultative process on which it was built; encourages the Government to implement the strategy without delay, with particular attention to systematic measures strengthening the impartiality and professionalism of the judiciary, as well as its compliance with the standards of the ECHR; also encourages the Government to re-structure the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors so as to ensure its representativeness, objectiveness, impartiality and transparency; 

9.         Takes note of progress made on legislation limiting the jurisdiction of military courts and regrets the lodging of an appeal before the Constitutional Court seeking annulment of that legislation; is concerned by the continuing involvement of the military in Turkish politics and foreign policy, and reiterates that in a democratic society the military must be fully subject to civilian oversight; calls in particular on the Turkish Grand National Assembly to enhance its oversight of the military budget and expenditure and to engage in the development of security and defence policies; 

10.       Is concerned about the alleged magnitude of the Ergenekon criminal network; urges the Government and the judiciary to ensure that all proceedings are fully in line with the due process of law and that the rights of all defendants are respected; shares the assessment of the Commission that Turkey has to approach this case as an opportunity to strengthen confidence in the proper functioning of its democratic institutions and the rule of law; 

11.       Regrets that no progress has been made on establishing the Ombudsman´s office; urges the Government to introduce, and all parliamentary parties to support, the necessary legislation so as to create this human rights institution for the benefit of all Turkish citizens; Human rights and respect for, and protection of, minorities 

12.       Welcomes the initiatives taken by the Turkish Government to bring Turkish citizens together and enable every citizen, irrespective of origin or religion, to enjoy equal rights and play an active role in Turkish society; is aware that this is an historic debate, but strongly urges the Government to translate its political initiative into concrete reforms and calls on all political parties and all players involved to support this process while striving to overcome mutual sensitivities; welcomes in this context the plan presented by the Government to the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 13 November 2009 and encourages it to implement it, so as to ensure that the freedoms of all citizens, regardless of their origin, are guaranteed; 

13.       Welcomes the adoption of legislation removing all restrictions on broadcasting in the Kurdish language by private and public channels at the local and national levels as well as of legislation on the use of the Kurdish language in prisons; urges the Government to take further measures ensuring real opportunities to learn Kurdish within the public and private schooling system, allowing for Kurdish to be used in political life and in access to public services; calls on the Government to make sure that anti-terror laws are not misused to restrict fundamental freedoms, and to abolish the system of village guards in the south-east of Turkey; 

14.       Urges the Turkish Grand National Assembly to ensure that parliamentary immunity covering the expression of political opinions is guaranteed to all members of parliament, without any discrimination; 

15.       Condemns the continuing violence perpetrated by the PKK and other terrorist groups on Turkish soil, and urges the PKK to respond to the political initiative of the Turkish Government by laying down its arms and putting an end to violence; 

16.       Welcomes the dialogue entered into by the Turkish Government with non-Muslim religious communities and the Alevis; underlines, however, that positive steps and gestures cannot mask the lack of real reform of the legal framework, which must enable these religious communities to function without undue constraints, in line with the ECHR and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights; 

17.       Welcomes the implementation of the Law on Foundations; regrets, however, that the religious communities continue to face property problems not addressed by that law, concerning properties seized and sold to third parties or properties of foundations merged before the new legislation was adopted; urges the Turkish Government to address this issue without delay;  

18.       Reiterates its concern about the obstacles faced by the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerning its legal status, the training of its clergy, and elections of the Ecumenical Patriarch; repeats its call for the immediate re-opening of the Greek Orthodox Halki seminary and for measures to permit the public use of the ecclesiastical title of the Ecumenical Patriarch; 

19.       Regrets that uncertainty persists concerning the recognition of Cem houses as Alevi places of worship and concerning compulsory religious education in schools; asks the Turkish Government systematically to remedy this situation; 

20.       Is concerned by the difficulties encountered by Syriacs in relation to their property ownership; in particular, points with concern to the court cases concerning expropriation in relation to the Mor Gabriel Syriac Orthodox monastery; 

21.       Deplores the fact that the Turkish Government continues to maintain reservations, derived from international law, regarding the rights of minorities, that it has not yet signed relevant Council of Europe conventions and that it has not yet entered into dialogue with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities; urges the Government to bring its policy fully into line with international standards and the ECHR, and calls on all parliamentary parties to support this move; in addition, urges the Government actively to foster a climate of full respect towards minorities, and to ensure that cases of hostility and violence are brought before the courts; 

22.       Is concerned that the Turkish legal framework still fails to provide sufficient guarantees with regard to freedom of expression and that certain laws continue to be misused so as to restrict that freedom; calls on the Turkish Government to come up with a reform of the legal framework in order to ensure its compatibility with the ECHR and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights; is of the view that Article 301 of the Penal Code should be repealed; 

23.       Is concerned about continued restrictions on press freedom, particularly following the imposition of an unprecedented fine on a media group, as well as regarding frequent website bans; stresses that the cultivation of press freedom is an important sign of political culture in a pluralistic society; recommends that in this context, and in light of the unhealthy links between media and business interests, a new media law be adopted; 

24.       Calls on the Turkish Government to intensify its efforts with regard to implementation of the policy of zero tolerance of torture, and, in order to underscore the credibility of those efforts, to authorise the publication of the report of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture; once again urges the Turkish Grand National Assembly to ratify the Optional Protocol on the UN Convention against Torture; also urges the Government to strive for reduction of impunity for human rights violations, in particular among law enforcement officials;  

25.       Encourages the Government to increase its efforts to translate gender equality, as guaranteed by law, into practice; in particular, considers that a strategy for women’s employment should be prepared, reducing the engagement of women in the grey economy; invites the Government to avail itself of the potential of civil society organisations, especially when it comes to raising awareness of women’s rights, the prevention of violence and so-called "honour killings"; points out that the Government and the judiciary need to ensure that all cases of violence and discrimination against women are duly brought before the courts and punished; 

26.       Is concerned about lack of guarantees against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and calls upon the Turkish Government to intensify its public awareness efforts concerning individual human rights and anti-discrimination, to ensure that discriminating provisions are removed from legislation and that hatred and violence based on homophobia is duly punished;  27.       Regrets the lack of progress concerning trade union rights and calls once again on the Turkish Grand National Assembly to adopt a new law on trade unions that is in line with the International Labour Organization standards; asks the Government to engage in the strengthening of tripartite social dialogue mechanisms; Ability to take on the obligations of membership 

28.       Deplores the fact that, for the fourth consecutive year, the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement has not been implemented by Turkey; calls on the Turkish Government to implement it fully without delay, in a non-discriminatory way, and recalls that failure to do so may further seriously affect the process of negotiations; Commitment to good neighbourly relations 

29.       Calls on the Turkish Government actively to support the ongoing negotiations, and to contribute in concrete terms to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded; calls on Turkey to facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations by withdrawing its forces; 

30.       Calls on the Turkish Government to cease hindering civilian vessels prospecting for oil on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean; 

31.       Urges Turkey to ensure that the rights of all displaced persons in Cyprus are respected, including those of religious minorities, and they are allowed freely to exercise their religious rights; stresses that, in the case of the Catholic Maronite community, freedoms should also be accorded to all four Maronite villages; 

32.       Commends the diplomatic efforts made to normalise relations with Armenia, and urges the Turkish Government to open the border with Armenia; calls on the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the Parliament of Armenia to ratify the relevant protocols without delay and without setting any preconditions; 

33.       Takes note of the limited progress achieved in improving Turkish-Greek bilateral relations; calls on the Turkish Grand National Assembly to withdraw its casus belli threat, and expects the Turkish Government to end the continued violations of Greek airspace; 

34.       Welcomes the continued improvement of relations with Iraq and with the Kurdish regional government; stresses once again its appeal to the Turkish Government to ensure that any anti-terrorist operation that is conducted fully respects Iraq´s territorial integrity, human rights and international law, and that civilian casualties are avoided; Deepening EU-Turkey cooperation 

35.       Notes the start of negotiations on Turkey´s accession to the Energy Community; welcomes Turkey’s signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Nabucco gas pipeline, the implementation of which remains one of the EU’s highest energy security priorities, and calls for opening of the energy chapter in the accession negotiations; notes at the same time the cooperation between Turkey, Russia and some EU Member States on the South Stream project; 

36.       Points to Turkey´s importance as a transit and destination country for irregular migration; takes note of the resumption of negotiations on a EU-Turkey readmission agreement, and urges Turkey fully to implement, in the meantime, the existing bilateral readmission agreements with the Member States; calls on the Turkish Government to strengthen its migration management cooperation with the EU, including with Frontex; 

37.       Notes Turkey´s increasingly active foreign policy and appreciates its efforts to contribute to solutions in various crisis regions; calls on the Turkish Government to intensify its foreign policy coordination with the EU, in particular as regards Iran; 

38.       Appreciates Turkey´s continuous contribution to European Security and Defence Policy and NATO operations; regrets, however, that the NATO-EU strategic cooperation extending beyond the ‘Berlin plus’ arrangements continues to be blocked by Turkey’s objections, which has negative consequences for the protection of the EU personnel deployed, and urges Turkey to set aside those objections as soon as possible; 

39.       Once again calls on the Turkish Government to sign and submit for ratification the Statute of the International Criminal Court, thus further increasing Turkey’s contribution to, and engagement in, the global multilateral system; 

40.       Calls on the EU´s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to analyse synergies between the EU´s and Turkey´s foreign policies and to make more intensive use of them in order to contribute to security and stability in the world;  

41.       Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the President of the European Court of Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Turkey.


      OJ C 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 284.      OJ C 263 E, 16.10.2008, p. 452.      Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0224.      Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0134.      OJ L 51, 26.2.2008, p. 4.

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