The Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed the European Parliament’s report on the country’s EU accession process, deeming it “biased and unrealistic.” 

“Allegations in the report regarding our country concerning democracy, rule of law and human rights, and the unfounded arguments on the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus issues, which reflect one or two EU members’ narrow-minded efforts to serve their own interests, are null and void for us,” the ministry said in a statement released late on June 7. 

In a new report adopted earlier on June 7, the European Parliament said that EU negotiations with Turkey should not take place because the country has gone back on its commitments.

The text was adopted by 448 votes in favor, 67 against and 107 abstentions.

The report named “Turkey: persistently further from EU values and standards” stated that although the EU welcomes the recent slight improvement in its relations with Turkey, “this enhanced cooperation has unfortunately coexisted alongside regular conflicts.” 

Criticizing the continuous deterioration of the human rights situation in Turkey, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said they “regret the sustained legal and administrative pressure on civil society and human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists” in the country. 

The report said that the EU welcomes Turkey’s efforts to be a mediator between Ukraine and Russia and that it is vitally important to have “good EU-Turkey cooperation in foreign and security policy in the current challenging times.”

MEPs also praised Turkey’s efforts “to host the largest refugee population in the world.”

In conclusion, MEPs said that they “cannot at this stage justify modifying its position concerning the formal suspension of the accession negotiations with Turkey, which have effectively been at a standstill since 2018.”

They pointed out that Turkey is “openly defying the binding rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR),” citing the case of jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) “has deliberately demolished any aspirations of reopening the EU accession process at this time,” the report said.

Kavala was sentenced to aggravated life in prison for allegedly attempting to overthrow the Turkish government by financing the 2013 Gezi protests. The court also sentenced Mücella Yapıcı, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi to 18 years in jail for aiding the alleged attempt to overthrow the government.

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