European Parliament report calls on Turkey to recognize Armenian Genocide

(EAFJD) Brussels, 10 June 2015: Plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (France) adopted the 2014 Turkey progress report early today.

The report in general records a negative review on Human Rights situation in Turkey, freedom of expression, decline in democracy, worries on minority rights, aggressive attitude against Greece, and refusal over the existence of the Republic of Cyprus.

The report greets the wide participation at the elections of 7 June 2015 in Turkey, and the presence of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the newly formed parliament. Moreover, the report welcomes the sheltering of 1,600,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The preamble of the report mentions: ‘having in regard the European Parliament resolution on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide’. After Turkey becoming a candidate country to the EU in 2005, the reports stopped any mention of the Armenian Genocide. It should be noted, that in the above mentioned resolution there is the explicit call on Turkey to reconcile with its past and recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Article 49 repeats the call to Armenia and Turkey to establish diplomatic ties and open the border between the two countries without preconditions.

President of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) Kaspar Karampetian welcomed the call to Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide, as well as to open the border without preconditions. Karampetian stressed the fact, that the European Parliament once again showed, that it doesn’t succumb to Turkish pressure, recalling, the threats by Volkan Bozkir, EU Minister and chief negotiator of Turkey, that Turkey will not accept the report, if there will be any reference to the Armenian Genocide. Rapporteur Kati Piri (Socialists and Democrats, the Netherlands) already reacted, saying that the European Parliament can’t deny documents which have already been adopted.

The report, leaves Turkey’s accession to the EU open; a political process that is getting harder and harder over the years.