Use all opportunities for dialogue
Following today's debate on the latest developments in Turkey with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, co-president of the Greens/EFA Group Rebecca Harms said:
"The EU needs to push for an end to the persecution of journalists, lawyers and those who are critical of the current regime. Rather than recklessly demanding an end to the accession negotiations, all opportunities for dialogue should be kept open to insist on the full respect of human rights and the rule of law. The reform of the anti-terrorism laws is a condition for the visa-free regime on which the EU must insist. The EU must also call on the Turkish government to end the escalation in the conflict with the Kurds. The EU will only be able to successfully defend democracy and the rule of law if it can develop independent solutions to the refugee crisis."
Green EU-Turkey relations spokesperson Bodil Valero added:
"Our response to the undermining of law, the repression of the Turkish opposition and the curtailment of freedom of the press must be further dialogue and support for civil society. The attack on the rule of law needs to be addressed openly. Ultimately, it will be self-defeating for Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he does not at long last end the war against the Kurds. Instead of concentrating on the refugee pact with Turkey, the Member States of the European Union would do better to focus on delivering a regulated increase and fair distribution of refugees."