EP report on Turkey gets tougher over Cyprus

The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday adopted a draft motion for a resolution on Turkey's progress report 2009.

EP report on Turkey gets tougher over Cyprus

The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday adopted a draft motion for a resolution on Turkey's progress report 2009.

60 committee members voted in favor of the draft report prepared by Dutch parliamentarian Ria Oomen-Ruijten, while 11 abstained.

Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists acted together on several amendments to the report. Part of the report on Cyprus has become tougher for Turkey following this move.

The draft report calls on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus, resolve the issue of Turkish citizens settled in the island and allow Greek Cypriot access to Maras (Varosha).

It urges Turkish government to seek solutions to preserve the bicultural character of Turkish islands Gokceada and Bozcaada, and to address the problems encountered by Greek people with regard to their education and property rights.

At a news conference following the committee voting, Dutch rapporteur Oomen-Ruijten held Socialists and Liberals responsible for tougher paragraph on Cyprus. She said, however, the report was quite balanced.

The European Parliament is scheduled to debate the report on February 10. Final parliamentary voting on the report is expected the next day.

The draft report says the parliament "is concerned about the alleged magnitude of the Ergenekon criminal network", adding 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."

It expresses "strong concern" in relation to the decision by the Constitutional Court to close the Democratic Society Party (DTP) and ban a number of its democratically elected representatives from political activity; and says it urges all political forces in Turkey to engage peacefully so as to unite Turkish society on the basis of equal rights for every citizen.

It also draws attention to the crucial importance of a comprehensive and substantive reform of the constitution, and welcomes judiciary reform strategy. It encourages Turkey to come up with reform proposals in judiciary respecting European standards.

It 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; and commends the Turkish Government for its constructive approach and its role in initiating that debate.

It says the parliament 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.

It 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.

Oomen-Ruijten's report condemns the continuing violence perpetrated by the terrorist organization 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.

The report underlines concern about restrictions on press freedom, particularly following the imposition of an "unprecedented fine on a media group", as well as regarding frequent website bans; and it recommends that, in light of the unhealthy links between media and business interests, a new media law be adopted.


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Last Mod: 27 Ocak 2010, 16:51
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