The European Parliament has adopted a damning report on Turkey, calling among others for a formal suspension of accession talks, while drawing an immediate response from Ankara that says the report is not objective.
With 480 votes in favor, 64 against, and 150 abstentions, out of a total of 694 voters, the European Parliament adopted a 2019-2020 report on Turkey’s accession process on Wednesday, warning that “although Turkey is a candidate country, its government has pursued a continuous and growing distancing from EU values and standards.”
'If the government of Turkey wants to return to trust, it needs to drop the anti-European rhetoric,'” Sanchez Amor said
The report, prepared by MEP Jose Ignacio "Nacho" Sanchez Amor and adopted at the Plenary Session on Wednesday, calls on the European Commission to “explore possible new models for future relations,” with Turkey, with the MEP accusing Ankara of adopting an anti-European stance in the politics of domestic consumption.
“If the government of Turkey wants to return to trust, it needs to drop the anti-European rhetoric,” Sanchez Amor said, later adding that in the early years there was accession progress with the candidate country but now there was "no political will."
"We don't want speeches from Turkish leaders, we want acts," the MEP said.
The report accused Turkey of backsliding on the rule of law and fundamental rights, adopting regressive institutional reforms, and pursuing a confrontational foreign policy towards EU member states Greece and Cyprus.
Ankara was quick to respond after the vote with the Turkish Foreign Ministry calling the EP report "unilateral and by no means objective.”
"We reject this biased text which not only includes false allegations regarding human rights, democracy, the rule of law, our governmental system and political parties,” the foreign ministry said.
Ankara: "Completely unfair and biased Greek and Greek Cypriot arguments"
The report, according to Ankara, also views “Turkey's effective, solution-oriented, humanitarian and enterprising foreign policy as a threat, but also reflects the completely unfair and biased Greek and Greek Cypriot arguments regarding the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus issue and supports the one-sided and inconsistent Armenian narratives regarding the 1915 events.”
Turkey went on to call on the EP to “carry out constructive efforts” on improving relations with Turkey contributing to the candidate country’s EU integration process instead of “being a platform for baseless allegations and blind accusations.”
The vote came days after Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said there could be no decision favoring a positive agenda regarding Turkey’s relations with the European Union.
“I am already informing the leaders of the member-states in a letter, that given Turkey’s change of course with its demand for a two-state solution and on its other positions, I do not see that a positive agenda in Turkish relations can be discussed or agreed upon,” he said in an interview with Kathimerini.
Anastasiades left open the possibility of Nicosia exercising a veto at the European Council as long as Ankara insisted on a two-state solution for Cyprus.