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Today, by a large majority, the European Parliament voted for a “temporary freeze” of the EU accession talks with Turkey. The resolution is a reaction to the Turkish leadership’s actions against state officials, media and opposition parties after the coup attempt in July. These were “disproportionate reprisals,” the resolution said.

Parliament strongly condemns the “disproportionate repressive measures taken in Turkey since the failed military coup in July 2016.” These measures “violate the basic rights and freedoms protected by the Turkish constitution, as well as democratic values” the text of the resolution stressed.

It is therefore clear to Parliament that a serious and persistent breach of the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law have been taking place in Turkey.

Kurdish politicians, media, intellectuals and civilians are the victims. The entire leadership of the pro-Kurdish HDP have been put in jail, democratically legitimate mayors removed, and nearly all Kurdish cities placed under state administration.

KES welcomes the courageous resolution of the Parliament. The EU is a community of shared values such as democracy, the rule of law and the protection of minorities. These values must always be defended.

KES calls on the EU Commission and the European Heads of State and Government to follow the example of the EU Parliament and to initiate a formal suspension procedure under Article 5 of the EU negotiating framework for Turkey and to terminate the customs union with Turkey.

Turkey is economically dependent on the EU. If Turkish companies can no longer sell their goods in the EU, this will hit the Turkish economy hard and put the Erdogan regime under pressure. Only a complete isolation of the autocrat will lead to positive developments in Turkey as Erdogan does not understand the language of dialogue and diplomacy. The resolution of the EU Parliament, which represents 500 million people, is “meaningless” for him, and this statement shows how much importance he attaches to democratic institutions: none.