Thursday, February 11, 2010

European Union presses Turkey on Kurdish rights


Strasbourg - Progress on concrete reforms in Turkey remains limited in 2009, says the resolution on 2009 progress report on Turkey adopted today in Strasbourg by the Members of the European Parliament (MEP).

The European politicians deeply regretted the closure of the Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), and the annulations of the legislation limiting the jurisdiction of military courts. They said these are "a serious setback in Turkey 's reform efforts" and therefore called for the Constitution to be reformed.

27 European countries members of EU urged Turkey to take into consideration the social and economic development of the south-east region populated by Kurds.

The European Parliament showed its concern about the displacement of thousands of Kurdish people resulting from the dam construction projects in the area.

The MEPs urged the European Commission to present a study on the social, cultural and environmental consequences of the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) with particular reference to the ancient archaeological sites of Hasankeyf and Allianoi.

According to the MEPs, the Turkish Government should immediately start the withdrawal of its forces from the northern part of Cyprus and address the issue of settlements of Turkish citizens. Turkey should help "facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations", insisted also the MEPs.

As positive signs of development from Ankara , MEPs cited the so-called democratic opening, and a law removing restrictions on broadcasting in Kurdish. They also appreciated the diplomatic efforts made to normalize relations with Armenia but ask that the relevant protocols be ratified. In addition, they acknowledged Turkey 's role in regional security in the area of Black Sea and the Middle East . MEPs also welcomed the Signing of the Nabucco Pipeline agreement and called for the opening of the energy chapter in the accession negotiations.

The annual progress report is drafted and published at the end of each year by the European Commission in order to monitor the democratization of the countries candidates for EU membership. Afterwards the European Parliament adopts resolution commenting the progress report.

Source: AKnews