Among the officials met, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Patrick Paquet,Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Deputy Head of Turkey Unit, Franceso Luciani, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs International Relations Officer of Turkey, Javier Nino Perez European External Action Service Head of Delegation regarding Turkey were prominent names.
The board of seven also met BUSINESSEUROPE and TUSİAD among various NGO’s and academics based in EU and Turkey and answered questions of a group of about 50 people from media associations, universities and NGO’s in Brussels over a forum organized regarding the visit.
Kaos GL representative Murat Köylü emphasized following points during the meeting of shared mutual concerns over deterioration in the implementation of separation of powers, Human rights, the rule of law, principles of freedom of expression and press on a wide scale in Turkey.
- AKP government of 13 years have never had a principled and broad strategy of human rights and struggle against discrimination. (LGBT) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex citizens and migrants in Turkey are open targets of recently intensified exclusionary statements and policies of AKP and its close media associations.
- In such environment, EU organizations should carefully follow-up and strongly criticize the lack of “sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status (SOGII)” categories in the Legislation of Struggle Against Discrimination and Equality Institute that is in agenda of the Parliament of Turkey (TBMM). By protecting its own values, EU should pursue SOGII regarding the elements of Migrant Agreement and membership negotiations, take necessary political precautions in case of a fail of government to cover such grounds in new legislations.
- EU should continue to its open criticism on regressions in Turkey and clear away concerns of “EU compromises from universal human rights criteria, its responsibilities under European Convention on Human Rights and its own values to overcome the migrant crisis”.
- For integration between Europe and Turkey, visa requirements for Turkish citizens should be removed. It is essential for social and cultural expansion of Europe. However, it is unacceptable for human rights values to make visa liberalisation an element of the migrant agreement.
- Especially the exchange of migrants between Greece and Turkey means an objectification of individuals. This provision and similar ones in the agreement should be removed entirely.
- EU should include unacceptability of Turkey’s “safe country of origin” status in terms of its LGBT citizens and “safe third country” status for migrants to its policies and regulations. Migration procedures of Greece and Turkey should be scrutinized in the most transparent way by EU foundations and NGO’s, information on the situation should be shared with the public.
- Whatever the political situation in the country is, chapter 23 on Judiciary & Fundamental Rights, chapter 24 on Justice, Freedom & Security and chapter 26 on Education & Culture should be opened as soon as possible. These chapters have a key role in Europe’s integration for long ranged strategies and not just because of Turkish government officials’ but also the EU and member state officials’ mutual mistakes caused it to be already late for the opening of the chapters. Occupying position of the Republic of Turkey in Cyprus is evident. However, for politicians from Turkey to solve Cyprus alike issues, the dynamics will be brought by chapters mentioned above will support civil society and relieve the voter/public pressure on politicians as the Cyprus alike issues are also perception and social mentality issues.
*During the visits organized by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, other than Kaos GL there were representatives from TURKONFED, İKV, P24, , 3H Movement, Turkey Europe Foundation, Freedom Research Association
**Translated by Ufukcan Mahanoğlu