05 March 2014 10:21

Foreign affairs MEPs looking into Turkey’s progress in 2013 towards EU accession have expressed deep concern at its recent developments concerning allegations of high-level corruption.
In a resolution passed, the MEPs also stressed that constitutional reform must remain the top priority for the modernisation and democratisation of Turkey.
Nonetheless, they welcomed the joint declaration by the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus on re-launching UN-brokered peace talks, stressing the importance of the divided island’s reunification.
But Cypriot MEP Antigoni Papadopoulou of Diko slammed the resolution - adopted with 36 votes in favour, eight against and five abstentions – arguing that the Committee continues to tolerate Ankara’s refusal to abide by its obligations towards Cyprus and the EU.
“Not only there is no mention at all about Turkey’s refusal to abide to its obligations towards Cyprus and the EU, but an effort is made to highlight the role of Turkey within a wider regional geo-strategy. And, by definition, the need for Ankara to stay within a European orbit,” Papadopoulou said in a statement.
“It is no coincidence at all that an amendment was approved noting that due to the regional role Turkey can play as an energy hub, importance should be given to the opening of chapter 15 regarding energy and that it is important for Turkey to participate in the process of unfolding Europe’s energy policy,” she added.
Opposition Akel’s MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou also believes that the resolution lets Ankara off the hook when it comes to Cyprus.
But he welcomed the European MEPs reference to the two leaders’ joint statement, especially to the provision that a united Cyprus will have ‘as a UN and EU member, a single international personality, a single sovereignty and a single Cypriot citizenship’.


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