Press Release of Umut Oran
Vice President of CHP
Vice Chairman of EU Committee
Vice Chairman of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee
Europe is an important anchor for democracy and freedom. Democracy and human rights standards in Europe are important indicators for us. We favor full membership under honorable and fair conditions. We are ready to cooperate with EU.
Unfortunately, EU has a fair share in the course of the Justice and Development Party’s (JDP) transformation into its current autocratic status. To this day, EU could not realize what JDP is trying to do. This gave JDP the opportunity to exploit the Union in return and JDP built current oppressive regime. Gezi Park is the litmus test. EU has seen the truth, yet a bit too late.
After this point, discourse is not enough; we need action and practice. JDP’s oppressive regime should be monitored and anti-democratic practices should be highlighted. Measures should be taken not only to comply with the Copenhagen Criteria but also to remove pressure over political rights. Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee should be convened as planned and this consultation mechanism should be actively used.
Accession process should not be suspended. On the contrary, chapter 23 and 24 should be opened and JDP should be forced to take democratic reforms. Long detention periods, illegal custodies, trials with false evidences, and other violation of basic rights must be taken into agenda. We always tried to report these things, but some ears and hearts were sealed off so far. After all these events, not even a single democrat in the world should remain silent.
In order to develop a fair and democratic election system, EU should intervene. We strive to lower the election threshold, surmounting any illegality disrupting the fair elections including any wrongdoing in calculating the votes. EU should closely monitor these processes.
Turkey-EU relations have a long history. Turkey takes this relationship as a critically important state matter. Current EU minister failed in this process and proved that he is not capable in carrying out this process.
In order to carry out the process smoothly, EU should take more responsibility. The Union should not allow the current “party-state” regime with repressive and anti-democratic practices. At this point, we expect EU to fulfill its responsibilities and stand for democracy not only by discourse but by active engagement. Pluralist Turkey with more freedom and democracy is a great need for both Europe, our region and Turkey.