EU Parliament approved the annual progress report for Turkey’s accession

As it was scheduled today the European Parliament held a vote on the progress report for Turkey’s accession process. The results of the vote approved the original report without amendments that would make Turkey’s path easier.

The report characterizes the progress of Turkey as still being at the starting point of a long-lasting process. Critical to the vote were the recent arrests of journalists in Turkey with the EU MP’s being concerned about the deterioration of freedom, and censorship of press. It was also noted that Turkey has made no progress in the last 8 months which is the longest period of inactivity since the process begun in 2005. For fifth consecutive year Turkey has failed to fulfil the Copenhagen criteria meaning that the conditions of the Turkish judiciary, have not yet improved sufficiently to ensure the right to a fair and timely trials. The EU Parliament has also requested that Turkey stops the flow of immigrants from Turkey to Northern Cyprus immediately to avoid changing the demographic character of the territory at a time when reunification talks are being made. The report also mentions the fact that Turkey has not stopped the acts of aggression towards Greece, and stresses that the Greek air space violations should stop. Furthermore, reference is made to the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, which is signed by the 27 EU members plus all other candidate states except Turkey, and is invited to do so immediately.