European Parliament warns Turkey on fundamental freedoms, corruption

BRUSSELS: The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee called on Turkey to fight corruption more effectively and respect fundamental rights in a resolution on Monday.

“Turkey must do more to fight corruption and enforce respect for media freedom, free expression and judicial independence,” the committee’s MEPs said in a resolution on the progress of reform in Turkey in 2014.

The resolution also urged the European Union to back Turkey’s efforts to build solid, democratic institutions and ensure respect for fundamental freedoms, human rights and the rule of law. Finally, it advocated stepping up EU-Turkey foreign policy cooperation.

The Turkish government must commit itself “unequivocally” to respecting democratic rules and principles, which are at the heart of the EU, the MEPs said, inviting the country to put the reform process at the center of domestic policy choices. A new Turkish Constitution, based on provisions promoting a pluralistic, inclusive and tolerant society, would underpin such a process, they added.

The MEPs also called on the Turkish government to conclude “in a sustainable way” the peace process with the Kurdish community. They said they regret the Turkish decision to build the Ilisu dam, which in a region mostly inhabited by Kurds, is expected to have “devastating” social, environmental and political effects on the Kurdish population.