EP on Turkey: A Cyprus solution will change region

17 February 2016
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A Cyprus solution will dramatically change the stability outlook of the region, the EP (European Parliament) rapporteur on Turkey’s accession progress Kati Piri (Dutch, PES) said on Tuesday at a press conference in Brussels.

Kati Piri noted the prospect of the island’s reunification during her introductory statements, while presenting the text of the progress report she compiled on behalf of the foreign affairs committee of the EP.

Piri said, “We cannot turn a blind eye on anything else happening in Turkey, just because Europe is preoccupied with the migration issue”. She openly criticised Turkey for regression on freedom of press and prosecution of journalists just for doing their jobs.

Piri made a special reference on the cessation of peace talks with the Kurds in the south east part of the country, with 400,000 people forced to leave their country. “No one is talking about what is going on in Turkey,” she added. “It is very irresponsible to talk migration policy without having the big picture – I did not say they will ask asylum to Europe, but they are internally displaced, we cannot have a dialogue only about those arriving in Greece, it is not an internal Turkish issue, it will affect Europe.” The Dutch MEP said that “we could phase another refugee crisis” and that is despite the “tremendous hospitality of the Turkish people on refugee issue.”

“This is the year to pay attention to Cyprus”

Finally she mentioned Cypru,s on which “40% of all the amendments on this report are made year after year”, but noted that “this is the year to pay attention to Cyprus” as “a solution to an over 40-year division is at hand”, due to, as she said “the tireless efforts of the two community leaders to reach a settlement”. Kati Piri reiterated the need that Turkey support the solution process actively and prompted the press to follow the first EP plenary of April in Strasbourg for the adoption of the report.

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