An appeal for peace in Turkey was today launched by the chairs of the EPP, S&D, Liberal, GUE/NGL and Greens/EFA groups in the European Parliament, following an initiative of the Greens. The appeal calls for the peace process to restart and for all sides to return to the negotiating table.
The text of the appeal is as follows:
We are shocked about the return of violence in Turkey. The end of the peace process has led to a confrontation that is intensifying daily. We strongly condemn the violence against civilians, police and soldiers. To prevent more deaths, the spiral of violence between the Turkish military and the PKK has to be broken. A lot has been achieved to further democracy in Turkey. But all these achievements are now in danger due to the recent violence. The violent conflict is a threat to the whole region. We condemn the focus on strategies that increase the tension between both sides. This conflict can only be solved politically through reconciliation. The Turkish government needs to seize the initiative to this end.
As the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament, we call upon the parties to the conflict in Turkey to end the violence and to restart peace negotiations. To that end, all sides have to permanently renounce the use of arms. Too many people have died already during the conflict. It is only through political means that all ethnic and religious groups in Turkey can live peacefully side-by-side.
We call upon EU leaders to act immediately with all possible means to achieve an end to the violence and to get the parties in the conflict back to the negotiation table. Turkey needs peace within its borders. An end to violence is vital for a constructive continuation of the EU accession process.
Manfred Weber, Gianni Pittella, Guy Verhofstadt, Rebecca Harms & Philippe Lamberts, Gabriele Zimmer
* Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms yesterday travelled to Turkey to observe the situation on the ground. She will travel to Cizre and Mardin (among other places) and meet with politicians and civil society representatives.