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Συμμετοχή στην 73η συνεδρίαση της Μικτής Κοινοβουλευτικής Επιτροπής ΕΕ-Τουρκίας στην Άγκυρα

S&D DELEGATION IN ANKARA REGRETS LACK OF ENGAGEMENT FROM RULING AKP MEMBERS

Today members of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament attending an official meeting in Turkey criticised the official representation of the Turkish government at the meeting for their lack of respect for freedom of speech and any true sense of dialogue.

During the 73rd meeting of the EU-Turkey joint parliamentary committee, the two Turkish key speakers, Cemil Çiçek and EU affairs minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bağiş, harshly criticised the European Parliament and then the co-chairman of the committee Afif Demirkiran member of the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) left the meeting before the exchange of views.

This is the first meeting of the joint parliamentary committee since the EU opened a new chapter of accession negotiations with Turkey and since the Gezi citizens” protests. Beside a point on the state of play in the accession negotiations, the agenda includes a debate on democratisation and fundamental rights, as well as on the new situation in the Middle East. But Turkish representatives refused to discuss on any of these issues.

Maria Eleni Koppa, S&D MEP and co-vice-chairman of the EU-Turkey committee regretted this behaviour:

«The unacceptable situation today, with all the Turkish officials leaving the meeting, does not help ease the tensions between the Turkish government and the European Parliament that we have seen since last summer.»

S&D MEP Richard Howitt said:

«The existence of the joint parliamentary committee with Turkey, as with other EU accession countries, is precisely to enable dialogue to resolve differences of understanding and to build progress together.»
After the Gezi protests Minister Bağiş said MEPs would face consequences for the European Parliament’s criticism over Gezi. Following today’s events, Richard Howitt asked: «is that consequences he meant – snubbing the proper conduct of our meeting?»

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