French MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, outlined the current human rights abuses in Turkey: “There are massacres of Kurds, anyone who criticises the Turkish authorities is thrown into prison, and next week, the Turkish Grand National Assembly is going to waive parliamentary immunity for around 130 of its members.”

Vergiat warned that Turkey has not met criteria 14, 24, 28 and 62 of the visa liberalisation agreement and called on the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship “to tell us what the Commission is going to do about these criteria that Turkey is failing to respect?”

Cypriot MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou, raised concern for criteria related to Cyprus, stating: “I don't believe some criteria can be implemented unless we manage to solve the Cyprus issue.” Also calling on the Commission, he asked: “we would like to know if there are affirmations that Turkey will actually implement this agreement with Cyprus?”

The MEPs made a clear distinction between the Turkish people and their government, as Hadjigeorgiou explained: “Our position on the Turkish policies is very different to our position towards Turkish citizens. We believe the rights of Turkish citizens should be respected.”

German MEP, Martina Michels, added: “The European Parliament should call on the Council and Commission to come up with a joint humane refugee policy. The EU lacks credibility if it preaches its values one day and sacrifices them the next.”


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Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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