Turkey: EU parliament’s 2014 progress report unacceptable

Turkey’s EU Ministry rejects EU parliament’s 2014 progress report and says unacceptable in terms of accession criterias and conditionality measures

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkey’s EU Minister Volkan Bozkir immediately reacted to the European Union Parliament’s decision to approve the 2014 Turkey Accession Report on Wednesday and said it is unacceptable for Turkey since the report has been perceived as out of the objective criterias.

Bozkir stated that Turkey will not accept such a biased report and return it back without being opened to the EU Parliament which adopted the report by 432 votes in favour, 94 against and 127 abstentions.

On behalf of Turkey, Bozkir listed three things in the report that he perceives as unacceptable by Ankara.

Bozkir rejected the definition of the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 as “genocide,” declassifying the outlawed PKK as a terror group and any suggestion of an end to the EU’s economic contributions to Turkey.

"I had earlier informed the EU parliament about the report and said if [these] three elements were included, we would return it," Bozkir said.

"The report will go into history books as the first one rejected by Turkey and described as 'unacceptable'," he added.

The Turkish minister claimed that the report does not encourage Turkey, rather it leads to the blocking of negotiation chapters as he referenced to the Cyprus issue on which he implied that the report might harm the reunification process.

Turkish Foreign Ministry also slammed the report in a statement on Wednesday as it emphasised the biased nature of the text and said the report will not contribute to the Turkish-EU relations  and it will be returned back to the parliament.

"The EP [European Parliament] decision draft, which was a balanced one and had constructive criticism in it in the first take, was transformed into a one-sided, far-from objective text during its process in the EP Foreign Affairs Committee,” the statement added.

The EU Parliament reporter on Turkey, Dutch socialist MEP Kati Piri stated that the EU’s relations with Turkey were important and it was the interest of both to have a close and effective cooperation as a necessity of strategic partnership.

The accession report urged the the European Commission "to review the conduct of the EU accession negotiations with Turkey and to consider how EU-Turkey relations could be improved and intensified."

Turkey’s long-standing integration with the EU might speed up soon as the Union’s enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said last month that they could open chapter 17 which focuses on economic and monetary policies.

Turkey has long been waiting on the doorstep of the EU to become a full member, but the pre-accession talks only opened on Sept. 5, 2005.

So far, the EU and Turkey have fulfilled 14 chapters out of 35 and 17 remain blocked, including the ones on economic and monetary policy, and on education and culture.

Turkey must fulfil political (Copenhagen) and economic (Maastricht) criterias which are the only measures for a country to become a member in the EU.

Some countries in the EU, most notably Greek Cypriots and France, have blocked Turkey’s negotiation chapters due to the Cyprus problem and 1915 Armenian events, which are not considered as part of the conditionality criterias.

TRTWorld and agencies