EP Turkey rapporteur's final report comes with no surprises

MEHMET SOLMAZ
Brussels
Published 15.11.2018 21:51
Updated 16.11.2018 00:10

European Parliament's (EP) Turkey rapporteur, Kati Piri, has released the draft of the annual Turkey report, which heavily criticizes the Turkish government. Many of the criticisms of Ankara in the report are considered biased and ideologically motivated, one of which is a call for the formal suspension of Turkey's accession talks with the European Union.

The 2018 Turkey report, which was supposed to be drafted around April was moved forward due to the May 2019 EP elections, in which Piri would have very little chance to preserve a seat in the parliament. The draft report is expected to vote at the EP General Assembly in Strasbourg either in February or March.

A majority of Piri's criticisms are related to judicial and security measures taken by the government after the military coup attempt by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Piri also took on the European Council for not being harsh on Ankara, which provides solutions to many Europe's issues, from security to migration.

In attempt to not target the Turkish society as a whole, the draft report backs upgrading the current Customs Union.

"A democratic and economically stable Turkey is in the interest of the European Union. Therefore, all tools should be used to keep Turkey anchored to the EU and its values. The modernization and upgrade of the Customs Union would provide an opportunity for democratic conditionality, as long as there is a concrete commitment by Turkey on genuine reforms. This would also allow for a concrete debate about climate change and labor rights where Turkey shows a dismal record," a part of the report reads.

The other point raised in the report was that Ankara should complete all the benchmarks for visa-free travel Turkish citizens in the Schengen zone.

"Visa liberalization is of great importance for all Turkey's citizens, especially students, business representatives and people with family ties in EU member states. I therefore encourage the Turkish government to comply with all 72 criteria, including bringing Turkey's anti-terror legislation in line with European standards," it adds.

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