Monday, 17 June 2013

G8 Leaders Must Bring Turkey Back Into Dialogue With West

The G8 meeting in Northern Ireland should make a clear statement on the escalating crisis in Turkey. I have written to UK Prime Minister David Cameron and to EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso to urge as many of the G8 leaders as possible not to miss the opportunity of their meeting to condemn the provocative stance adopted by Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan.

I am asking that the leaders' statement make these points:-
1. Turkey matters to the West, and the West to Turkey.
2. The European Parliament has every right to comment on a democratic crisis in a country which is trying to join the EU.
3. The level of police violence is unacceptable.
4. The Turkish government should scrap the GeziPark development; promise to improve urban planning laws in a democratic direction; open an enquiry into police and security service brutality; and release doctors and lawyers and journalists from incommunicado imprisonment.
5. The protestors should desist from violence.

Andrew Duff MEP is a long-standing member of the European Parliament's Joint Committee with the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and follows closely Turkish affairs. He is President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF), and a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). He is Spokesman on Constitutional Affairs for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).