EP endorses Turkey report, not happy with only Turk Cyprus troops

European lawmakers endorsed a resolution that called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus.

EP endorses Turkey report, not happy with only Turk Cyprus troops

European lawmakers on Wednesday endorsed a resolution that called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus.

The resolution, penned by Dutch parliamentarian Ria Oomen-Ruijten on Turkey's progress report 2009, was approved by a large majority of the members of the European Parliament.

The MEPs urged Turkey "to begin prompt withdrawal of troops from Cyprus, and resolve the issue of Turkish citizens settled in the island as well as allow Greek Cypriot access to Maras."

Turkey sent its troops to Cyprus in 1974 following a decade of attacks on Turkish Cypriots by Greek Cypriot groups favoring unification with Greece and eventually a Greek-inspired coup on the island.

Turkey now has more than 30,000 troops deployed on the Turkish part of the island.

Lawmakers appealed to all sides of the Cyprus dispute to "actively contribute" to ongoing negotiations aimed at reunifying the divided Mediterranean island.

The resolution expressed concern over a alleged criminal network in Turkey that came to be known as Ergenekon, and a suspected plot to overthrow the government, popularly dubbed as "the Sledgehammer."

The cases "offer an opportunity to boost confidence in the functioning of democratic institutions and in the rule of law," the resolution said.

The resolution called on the Turkish government to resume work for a new constitution that would strengthen human rights and basic freedoms in the country.

Lawmakers expressed "sadness" over the closure of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), urging the country to align its laws on closing down political parties with the European Convention of Human Rights and the criteria set by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission.

The resolution called for the reform of Turkey's judicial system, which it said was "of crucial importance for the country's modernization process."

Also, the resolution expressed "great sadness" over the rejection by Turkey's Constitutional Court of an amendment that cleared the way for trial of military personnel at civil courts.

"The ruling dealt a serious blow on Turkey's efforts for reform," the resolution said.

The resolution said the army in Turkey continued to intervene in politics and the country's foreign policy, adding that a democratic society required a full civilian control of the military.

The resolution welcomed "the open discussion of traditionally sensitive issues such as the role of the judiciary, rights of the Alevi community, the role of the military as well as Turkey's relations with its neighbors," saying that the Turkish government "deserved praise for its positive role" in the launching of such discussions.

The EP document condemned terrorist acts by the PKK, calling on the organization "to lay down weapons and denounce violence to respond to the governments political appeal."


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Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2010, 09:16
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