The European Union adopted a non-binding resolution Wednesday against Turkey’s accession as a member of the EU. The resolution passed in the European Parliament by 370 votes in favor, 109 against with 143 abstentions.
The assembly noted past and ongoing human, civil, and due process rights violations committed by Turkey. The body expressed concern over Turkey’s lack of respect for minority religious and cultural rights. It mentioned the state’s “shrinking space for civil society,” its arrests and suppression of journalists, its dismissal of dissident academics, as well as the treatment of Middle Eastern migrants within its borders. The body noted that Turkey’s government has abused the due process rights of its own citizens under the guise of terrorism suspicions. It has also intimidated its own citizens abroad and abused Interpol arrest warrants to extradite its own nationals back to Turkey.
The European Parliament also mentioned Turkey’s fractious relationships with neighboring states such as Cyprus and Greece regarding the Akkuyu nuclear plant Turkey intends to build, as well as (lack of) normalization of diplomatic relations with neighboring Armenia.
“[W]hereas respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights, including the separation of powers, democracy, freedom of expression and the media, human rights, the rights of minorities and religious freedom, freedom of association and the right to peaceful protest, the fight against corruption and the fight against racism and discrimination against vulnerable groups are at the core of the negotiation process.” (regarding Turkey’s accession into the European Union.)
The EU body insists the relationship between EU and Turkey be based on the laws adopted by the EU member states, with the “objective of protecting and promoting democratic values and principles, human rights and the rule of law; without prejudice to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union.” Article 49 requires EU member states to abide by its values. Most importantly, it is the EU’s position that Turkey cannot continue ascension processes into the EU without proper “respect for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.”