Finally, today the European Parliament elections are getting started. We are saying "good luck."
For the next four days, in 28 EU member states, elections will be held. Today, the Netherlands and U.K. are electing new European Parliament members. Tomorrow, the elections will be held in Ireland and the Czech Republic.
On Saturday, May 25 in Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia, the new members of parliament will be elected.
And on Sunday, May 26, the rest of the EU member states will have their European Parliament elections.
After the elections on May 28, 2019, with an EU Ad Hoc Leaders Summit, the elections will be evaluated.
Also, the criteria for determining the new EU Commission president and the names for other high ranking duties will be discussed. At the EU Leaders Summit that will be conducted from June 20-21, new names for the EU Commission president will be proposed to the European Parliament and will be determined.
And finally, on July 2 and July 4, the newly elected European Parliament will have its first session in Strasbourg. The new president for the European Parliament will be elected. Presidential council, commission and committee presidents and commissions and committees will be elected. After that on July 15 and 18, 2019, in the second session that will be held in Strasbourg, European Parliament will elect the new EU Commission's president.
As it is mentioned above, after the elections, the following months of June and July will be very busy. The new president of the European Parliament and the new president of the EU Commission will be elected after long and arduous discussions and bargains.
Obviously, the foreign affairs commission, which concerns Turkey and the "EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (KPK)" formed with
Turkish parliamentary and EU Parliament members, will also be determined in the same session.
As for the question "What are we expecting from the European Parliament?" from the perspective of Turkey, the answer is very simple; "To be fair toward Turkey."
Let us elaborate on what we mean with "being fair." First of all, it means "being meticulous" when it comes to distributing duties regarding Turkey. In each period the European Parliament appoints a "Turkey rapporteur." In the past, before the 2014-2019 period, we were acquainted with rapporteur that were knowledgeable about Turkey and that was "meticulous." Of course, they were critical on their approach toward Turkey. They weren't "friends of Turkey," but they were not "Turkey's opposition" either. They were aware of the responsibility the European Parliament was bearing in the relations between EU and Turkey. They were very careful with "single-sided sources" when writing their reports regarding Turkey. Especially, they did not allow representatives of the PKK terrorist organization any chances. They valued dialogue with Turkey. Of course, they did have harsh criticism, but they also wrote about positive developments in Turkey. They did not hinder us as we had suffered in the last five years. If the new European Parliament values dialogue with Turkey, it has to draw lessons from the mistakes that were made in the 2014-2019 period.
The last rapporteur Kati Piri was, unfortunately, a huge fiasco. She might be a very good person, but as a politician, she was not fair. And while penning reports about Turkey she was naive enough not to recognize people that approached her under other disguises to actually be representatives of the PKK or the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Or worse maybe she didn't care at all. Due to this approach of hers, her reports caused big reactions in Turkey. The European Parliament lost its reputation in the country. However, for the important dialogue between Turkey and the EU to continue, EU and European Parliament rapporteurs have high importance. For this reason, the rapporteurs play a huge role. Let's hope that the parliament will appoint a rapporteur who is a politician that is experienced and able to make objective assessments and that will not mingle with terrorist organizations.
On the same vein, we hope that they will be meticulous when determining KPK members which will be formed from the members of the Turkish Parliament and European Parliament. It was not particularly helpful to have a Greek member of parliament as the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee co-president and two Greek Cypriot members of parliament as the vice co-presidents. We should not be unjust to the Greek co-president. He tried his best to be fair. However, due to vice co-presidents and due to certain members of parliament that were in this committee just to make policies against Turkey, he was not successful. We hope that this time when appointing EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee members, the criteria will not be "the biggest enemy of Turkey."
Because productive dialogue is desperately needed. I am saddened as I am typing this. If the European Parliament, which I also worked in as a member of parliament, is to take a stand against the PKK terrorist organization, its Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG) and FETÖ, which are trying to use the parliament to make terror propaganda, we will be very happy. In truth, it saddens me to have to wish for what is supposed to be a given, but our experience forces us to voice these concerns. We hope that in the new period we won't be forced to talk about such subjects.
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