STRASBURG — The European Parliament’s (EP) Committee on Foreign Affairs has ratified a resolution on Turkey’s progress in EU accession that is widely viewed as the most critical report in recent years.
It was adopted on Wednesday (March 9th) by a large majority, following intense debates among members — and particularly between the Christian Democrats and Socialists.
The resolution, put forward by rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten, describes the accession process as having reached a deadlock. The Cyprus issue, lack of co-operation among Turkish political parties, and weakening respect for basic rights in Turkey are the key factors that hamper accession talks, Oomen-Ruijten said during the debate.
The European Parliament report also expressed concerned over the lack of improvement in the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer coup cases, as well as the recent arrests of some journalists in the country. Promising to “closely follow the cases of Nedim Sener, Ahmet Sik and other journalists facing police or judicial harassment”.
The draft also expressed concern over Turkish government’s putting impediments in revealing murderers of Hrant Dink.
It also said not enough progress was being seen in women’s rights and minorities civil protection.
The resolution calls for wide-ranging constitutional reform aimed at transforming Turkey into a full-fledged pluralistic democracy, as well as changes to the electoral system.
On foreign policy, Cyprus was the dominant topic. The report calls for Turkey to withdraw its forces from Cyprus immediately, to refrain from any new settlements of Turkish citizens on the island and to contribute in specific terms to a comprehensive agreement concerning ongoing negotiations on the Cyprus issue.

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