Commenting ahead of tomorrow's (Wednesday) landmark report on Turkish EU
membership, Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru Euro-MPs have
expressed dismay at reports that the European Commission is set to open
the door for Turkey without first demanding hard evidence of progress on
the country's human rights record, and in particular its treatment of the
from Brussels, Ian Hudghton
MEP (SNP) said:
the view that eventual Turkish membership of the EU would be good for
Turkey and for Europe - but there must be strict conditions attached,
particularly in relation to human rights and the Turkish regime's
treatment of the Kurdish minority. That's why it's with some dismay that
many of us view the reports about the Commission opening the door for
Turkish membership with tomorrow's report.
welcome, up to a point, reports of a mechanism for slowing up or even
halting the negotiations if Turkey fails to make progress on human rights,
this falls well short of what we would have hoped for. This is putting the
cart before the horse - saying to Turkey we'll start negotiations but we
still expect you to make progress on human rights is the wrong approach.
Real progress on human rights must come first before talks on joining the
EU can follow, not the other way round."
(Plaid Cymru) commented:
"Throughout this process we've voiced our concerns that not enough
progress is being made in improving the human rights situation in Turkey,
in particular the treatment of the Kurdish people.
remains the case that the linguistic, political and cultural rights of the
Kurdish people do not get the recognition they deserve from the Turkish
regime. Indeed it's reported that around 40% of the Kurdish population in
Turkey cannot read or write - the legacy of an education system that
doesn't recognise the Kurdish language. Can we really start accession
negotiations against this backdrop?"
heads of government will make the final decision on this when they meet
for their December summit. Between now and then we need to see intensive
lobbying so that Turkey isn't handed a blank cheque for EU membership.
welcome Turkey's eventual accession to the EU, but not before it has made
and has been seen to have made real progress on human rights. Any early
start to negotiations would be premature in the extreme."