136,882 of 200,000 signatures

President and Members of the European Council, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy

Petition text

The European Union should immediately suspend all accession negotiations with the Turkish administration, while at the same time taking decisive steps to ensure that human rights and the rule of law are upheld in Turkey. This should include among others the continued work to strengthen civil society as well as engaging in constructive dialogue, starting with establishing an EU mission tasked with monitoring developments in the area of fundamental rights and the rule of law in Turkey.

Why is this important?

In a wildly disproportionate reaction against the instigators of the attempted military coup d’etat, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not stopped at taking legitimate steps to bring the suspects to justice. Instead, he has seized the opportunity to launch a wide-scale attack on democracy and the rule of law. In his reaching for complete power, he has trampled on the fundamental rights and liberties of the Turkish citizens.

In the days that followed the failed coup, tens of thousands of civil servants, army personnel and teachers have lost their jobs - and sometimes their freedom - with no right to appeal. Academics were forbidden to travel. Journalists are being detained without trial and the state is censoring the media [1]. The speed and scope of the government’s crackdown on suspected dissenters suggests a systematic purge meant to introduce a regime change.

Now it seems that the repressions are only just beginning. Claiming his goal was to defend democracy, Erdoğan introduced a state of emergency, followed by a suspension of the European Convention on Human Rights [2]. In doing so, he’s effectively put an end to any pretense about upholding human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law. He went as far as to propose to bring back the death penalty, moving Turkey ever closer towards an authoritarian regime.

Turkey has long aspired to become a member of the EU and membership negotiations have been moving along slowly. But there is no place in the European community for Erdoğan regime - a regime that violates our fundamental values: rule of law, freedom of expression, protection of minorities and the right to a fair trial. While Turkey has important ties to the EU in areas such as trade, migration and security, these should not blind our decision-makers to the plight of the Turkish citizens and the abuses of power of Erdoğan’s administration.

We need to call on the European Union to suspend all accession negotiations with the Turkish regime and clearly condition all future talks on the government ensuring that the principles of the rule of law, human rights and democracy are upheld.

References

[1] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-20/erdogan-convenes-turkey-s-top-security-heads-as-purges-continue; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/19/turkey-sacks-15000-education-workers-in-purge

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkey-coup-attempt-human-rights-president-erdogan-purge-turkish-military-a7148166.html

This campaign is run in partnership with Skiftet.

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