The condition of civil liberty in the Turkey is worse on every visit, the EU Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri said during a visit to Turkish daily ‘Cumhuriyet’. She was accompanied by other EU parliamentarians Elisabetta Pietrobon, Mariska Heijs and Jörgen Siil.
Piri said it was disturbing to see journalists put in jail simply for doing their job. Worse still, she said, was that Turkey continues its EU accession talks.
“We have been trying to visit daily Cumhuriyet on every visit to Turkey. But unfortunately, the situation in Turkey is getting worse. Press rights and the treatment against press members are crucial for the European Parliament. Because it expresses the state of the democracy in a country,” she said.
Piri noted that actions taken by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) contravened the criteria of the EU.
She urged that the state of emergency be lifted, adding that whatever the outcome of the constitutional referendum, Turkey would not easily be able to normalise.
“I do not believe that Turkey can enter a process of normalisation until the state of emergency is lifted, the referendum results are regardless of this. Opposition lawmakers and journalists have been jailed and thousands of people have been dismissed from their duties during the state of emergency, which the government said it would not affect the lives of citizens. There is a terror threat against Turkey, it is clear. But we are worried that mentioning ‘terrorists’ has become easy and their right to defend themselves are not given,” she said.
Meanwhile, Piri visited Mehmet Günal, the deputy chairman of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
He criticised the European Parliament at their meeting, saying that relations between Turkey and the EU were unending. “Either we get married, or you take your ring and go away,” he said.
He stated that Turkey’s perception of the EU, had become increasingly negative
Piri said they would prepare a report, noting that they visited the MHP in order to hear their views.