AKEL on the European Parliament’s Turkey Progress Report AKEL C.C. Press Office, 14 March 2019, Nicosia The Report of the European Parliament on Turkey’s accession course represents a critical recording of the prevailing situation in Turkey today, the suppression of fundamental freedoms and Ankara’s regression from its contractual commitments which stem from the framework of its accession path.

As regards the Cyprus problem, the references that have been included on AKEL’s initiative and supported by other forces are considered satisfactory. The European Parliament supports bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international personality, a single citizenship and political equality as defined in the relevant UN resolutions as the only solution. At the same time, we succeeded in the reference to the Gutteres Framework, as well as to what was agreed during the Crans Montana procedure, being adopted. Turkey is called upon to withdraw the occupying army from Cyprus. A reference is made to UN Security Council Resolution 550 calling for the return of Famagusta and to the illegal colonization.

Turkey is called upon to open its military archives so as to assist the Committee on Missing Persons in its work. Despite the above positive points, the text of the Report also contains negative elements. This is a Report which describes in a clear way as a key aim the replacement of Turkey’s accession perspective with a special relationship based on the upgrading of the EU-Turkey Customs Union, the serving of trade and economic interests and the deepening of the military relations between the two sides within the framework of NATO. Despite the fact that the position for a suspension of Turkey’s accession process was approved in the end, at least its termination was avoided, as the European People’s Party (EPP) had regrettably proposed. The replacement of Turkey’s accession process with another form of “special relationship” will automatically lead to Ankara being relieved of its Cyprus-related obligations. On the contrary, the continuation of Turkey’s accession course remains a leverage to exert pressure for the fulfillment of these obligations and for the solution of the Cyprus problem. As regards the upgrading of the EU-Turkey Customs Union without any preconditions, the only Political Group in the European Parliament that did not support it is the Group of the Left. Both the EPP and the Group of the Social Democrats voted in favour of its upgrading, ignoring Turkey’s negative stand towards the Republic of Cyprus.

For us the stand taken by the two big Political Groups, and especially of the EPP, is cause for particular reflection and concern which had voted against an amendment we tabled for the abolition of the Treaty of Guarantee, unilateral intervention rights and for the speedy withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops. It really makes one wonder if these are the clear positions of the President of the EPP and candidate for the presidency of the European Commission, Mr. Weber, to which the President of governing DISY party has just referred to. Is this the friend and associate of DISY and the government – as DISY President A. Neophytou characterised him? AKEL will continue to work so that with its positions, policies and struggles it shall promote the interests of the Cypriot people within the European Parliament.

This is what we have always been doing and will continue to do, particularly with the unwavering support of the Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left, but also other forces.

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