CHP: The government’s recent EU initiative is welcome

Deputy President in charge of Foreign Affairs of CHP and former Ambassador Ünal Çeviköz indicated that the new EU policy of Turkey is positive but also added the following: “There are steps which need to be taken inside. Turkey should regain the confidence it has lost. The path to renew sound relations with the EU is through ensuring the rule of law, the separation of powers, the guarantee of fundamental rights. The EU will come with its own expectations in that respect”. Çeviköz added the following to Hürriyet:

STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN FOR FREEDOMS

“Turkey should have kept its relations with the EU at a positive level but valorous and flamboyant speech have been obstacle in that way. Turkey should regain the confidence it has lost. For this, there are steps to be taken inside. First of all, we should free ourselves from the vision of the politicisation of the judiciary. We need a regime where the separation of powers is guaranteed and well functional but the personal regime has changed all of that. There should be steps taken also on human rights and individual freedoms. The situation of our Istanbul MP Enis Berberoğlu, of Eren Erdem and Osman Kavala is a violation of justice and is illegal. That is why the path towards renewing sound relations with the EU comes with ensuring the rule of law, the separation of powers, the guarantee of fundamental rights.

Indeed, there were warning before the constitutional referendum from the EU that the regime change which would lead to the end of separation of powers would further widen the gap between Turkey and the EU. In the EU Summit which was realised in Varna, this was explicitly indicated to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. I do believe that such concerns will be voiced again. Even though the state of emergency has indeed been lifted, this has all but become a new legal reality. The EU is seeing this and will continue to express its concerns in that respect. Indeed, if Turkey can renew and uphold the principle of rule of law, this will strengthen confidence in its democratisation and will constitute a positive climate for further investments.

The United States has problems with everyone in the world; with China, with Europe Europe has shown resistance towards the US; and as Turkey saw the resistance from the EU, it decided to shift the helm in that direction. However, I do not believe it is possible to achieve any progress without finding long lasting solutions to Turkey’s issues with the EU. Turkey’s rapprochement with the EU is possible only by solving these very issues.

THE SOLUTION SHOULD BE DIPLOMACY

There are certain elements which need to be changed within the Customs Union. There needs to be new impetus in agricultural products, the services sector and other sectors as well. The path to free trade should be opened with countries with which free trade agreements have been signed. Although the Customs Union is giving us this right, the EU is blocking it. In case these provisions can be achieved, the Customs Unions remains an important dossier in Turkey-EU relations. For example, Germany had integrated in its coalition protocol that Turkey would not be integrated within the Customs Union. The path to tackle these is through diplomacy”.

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