Cypriot MEP, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Vice-Chair of the EU-Turkey Delegation expressed his concerns about the situation in Southeast Turkey, where some 300,000 people have been displaced.


“A great part of the city of Sur has been completely abandoned. A bigger part has been confiscated. Essentially, the homes of 60,000 people have been expropriated,” he said.


“Furthermore, academics and journalists are in prison because they spoke out openly. On 22 April, they will be on trial in Istanbul and I have already received an appeal from these academics requesting that MEPs be present as observers.”


MEP Hadjigeorgiou called on Turkey to initiate immediately a dialogue to solve the Kurdish issue, saying “We believe the deletion of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) from the EU list of terrorist organizations could help”.


On the issue of Cyprus, MEP Hadjigeorgiou said the report contained “very positive references. However, it contains, albeit indirectly, references for the opening of chapters, with which we disagree, as Turkey has not implemented its relevant commitments.  While we welcome positive references expressed by Turkish officials on the Cyprus issue, we have to say that these references have not been translated into practice at the negotiating table. We expect an immediate deposition of a map on the territory issue, which will facilitate and solve the property issue.”


Greek MEP, Sofia Sakorafa agreed that the PKK “is part of the solution in the negotiation for a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Kurdish issue.”


However, she was critical of the EU for engaging with NATO in the Aegean. “Involving NATO is only going to escalate tensions. The results will be devastating for the people.”


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