Human rights issues are nonnegotiable — European Union to Turkey

Paola Ditto
Aprile 7, 2021

The meeting precedes the summit of European leaders next week, where Turkey-EU relations will also be discussed.

"Listening to positions expressed by the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriot leader, that of two states, as well as sovereign equality the way they interpret it, I wouldn't say I am optimistic", the President said, adding that he is going to the conference with the hope that discussions there will create the conditions that will overturn any claims which do not have to do with the interests of Greek and Turkish Cypriots, but with the interests of Turkey.

Von der Leyen said the move was "clearly the wrong signal right now".

"The doctrine of solidarity that prevails between European countries does not allow indifference on the part of Europe", noting that despite the interests of certain EU member states that depend on the Turkish economy, Cyprus and Greece have managed to bring the fore violations of worldwide law by Turkey such as its drilling activities in the two countries' EEZs and even developments in Varosha.

"The EU hasn't yet fully lived up to its commitments to the deal, in particular its financial liabilities", the source said, adding only 3.7 billion euros ($4.4bn) of the promised six billion euros had reached Turkey.

The European Commission hit out Wednesday (7 April) at a diplomatic snub that left its head Ursula von der Leyen without a chair as male counterparts sat down at a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The meeting comes on the heels of Turkey's withdrawal last month from a treaty combating violence against women and the launch of a formal bid to shut down the country's main pro-Kurdish party.

Although Brussels condemned both decisions, European Union leaders last month still reiterated their commitment to work with Turkey if the "current de-escalation is sustained".

Last month, Erdogan pulled Turkey out of a key European convention aimed at combatting violence against women, triggering criticism from EU officials.

What else did the talks cover?

The benefits on offer for Turkey include the modernizing of a customs union and the liberalization of visa rules.

The road map for improved cooperation would depend on Erdogan acting to deescalate tensions with neighboring Greece and Cyprus.

He said the European Union recognises the strategic importance of mutually beneficial and positive relations with Turkey and security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Why are the talks being held now?

For Turkey, the possible thaw in relations coincides with domestic economic troubles - and a tougher line from Washington after Erdogan's ally Donald Trump was voted out of the White House.

How keen are both sides to make progress?

Anastasiades urged Ankara to realise that its aim for two states is considered unacceptable by everyone, including the United States, Russia, China and other permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as the EU. Cyprus, Greece, and France are urging a tough line while others, led by Germany, want more engagement.

"If Erdogan does not show himself to be cooperative then everything will be blocked", the official told AFP. Any steps forwards would need to be "phased, proportionate, and reversible".

The EU has warned that sanctions are an option if Turkey restarts "illegal" energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE