Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

World

Candidates for EU Parliament: Kurdish Rights Should Be Precondition for Turkey EU Accession

By Deniz Serinci 21/5/2014
“A half dictatorship like Turkey, which does not respect free press and speech, cannot be a good member in the European family,” said Baksi, who has published eight books about integration, immigration and racism, and is a candidate for the Green Party. Photo: AFP
“A half dictatorship like Turkey, which does not respect free press and speech, cannot be a good member in the European family,” said Baksi, who has published eight books about integration, immigration and racism, and is a candidate for the Green Party. Photo: AFP

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – As voters in Europe go to the polls this week to choose the new European Parliament, a number of Kurdish and non-Kurdish candidates spoke to Rudaw about their views on Turkey's possible membership in the European Union (EU), and the Europe-wide recognition of Saddam Hussein’s atrocities against the Kurds as genocide.

British Sarah Ludford, a current MP for the Liberal Democrats who is a candidate again, said she was a supporter of Turkey's accession to the EU. But, by her own admission, she has been very concerned by the developments in Turkey over the last 12 months, for example the police crackdown on the Gezi Park protesters in the summer of 2013.

“The authoritarian response to the Gezi Park protests, the censoring of social media (e.g. Twitter), the erosion of an independent judiciary -- these are all trends which make the prospect of Turkey's EU membership distinctly more remote,” she told Rudaw.

In addition, Ludford hopes the good relations between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani will help improve the situation of Kurds in Turkey and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the British candidate condemned the imprisonment of journalists in Turkey, including Kurdish reporters.

“The completion of key political and constitutional reforms, including securing the independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press, must be pushed forward if Turkey is to reinvigorate its candidacy for EU membership,” she said.

Britta Thomsen, a Danish candidate from the Social Democrats, said she is convinced that Turkey must meet the Copenhagen criteria before it can join the EU. The Copenhagen criteria, signed in the Danish capital in 1993, among other things require member states to ensure the protection of minorities.

“Turkey must ensure sufficient rights to minorities, including in relation to the Kurds. Before we talk about joining the EU, they must comply with the Copenhagen criteria," said Thomsen.

Kurdo Baksi, a journalist, writer and debater living in Sweden, does not believe that Turkish membership in the EU is possible at this time.

“A half dictatorship like Turkey, which does not respect free press and speech, cannot be a good member in the European family,” said Baksi, who has published eight books about integration, immigration and racism, and is a candidate for the Green Party.

Firstly, Turkey must recognize the Kurdish identity, he emphasized.

“The government must recognize the language in its constitution. Secondly, Kurds must have political rights and have political parties with a Kurdish prefix,” Baksi said.

Halime Oguz, running for the Socialist People's Party in Denmark, believes that the EU should put pressure on Turkey to respect human rights.

“Turkey should become a member of the EU once they have expanded democracy, respect for human rights, release of journalists from prisons, etc.,” Oguz, a Kurd from Turkey, told Rudaw.

According to Fathi al Abed, another Danish candidate from the Socialist People's Party, the Gezi Park event proved there was a "lack of democracy,” therefore, EU membership is excluded.

"Instead of membership, we should offer the Turks closer cooperation with the EU," said Abed, who is Palestinian.

In addition, he criticized Turkish authorities for reportedly allowing armed groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the al-Nusrah Front to cross the border into Syria.

"Turkey is behaving like a superpower in the Middle East and allows fanatics to enter Syria and kill people. It is proof that the road to the EU is still long for the Turks," he said.

Some analysts believe that Turkey should join the EU because that would increase the EU's ability to keep pushing for human rights.

But Sukri Demir, a Kurd with roots in Mardin in southeast Turkey, thinks otherwise.

"They also said about Romania that the country would improve as soon as it became a member. What happened? Romania joined the EU, but discrimination against the Roma continues,” said Demir, who arrived in Sweden with his family to escape the Turkish military junta. For four years, he has been a member of the city council in the Swedish city of Solna and is now running in the elections for the People's Party in Sweden.

Baksi said he would also work “very hard” so that all European countries recognize Saddam Hussein’s Anfal campaign against the Kurds as genocide.

“Anfal is a big tragedy for humanity and the Kurds,” he said. “It is important that we never forget it.”

Demir agreed: "The Swedish recognition came very late, but it was still good. It is a great shame that the international community did not do enough in this case. If I become a member of parliament, I will work for the recognition of Anfal," he said.

In 2012, Sweden became the first country in the world to recognize the massacres against Kurds as genocide. Last year, the British Parliament also formally recognized Anfal as genocide.

Ludford, from Britain, believes the classification of killings as genocide is a legal matter for international courts rather than for politicians.

"The actions of Saddam Hussein in the slaughter of Kurds represents a truly terrible chapter in the history of the Kurdish people. A number of national parliaments around the world, including the UK's House of Commons, have adopted positions which recognize these events as 'genocide',” she said.

“It is, however, up to parliamentarians and governments in the states concerned, as well as in the international community, to do what they can to ensure that such an event can never take place again." 

  

Comments

 
Rojcan | 21/5/2014
I've always found it funny how turks think of themselves as Europeans, when not only does majority of the land mass they occupy sit in Asia, but turks come from Mongolia. Also massoud barzani will never do anything to help Kurds living under turkish oppression, he isn't anything like his honorable nationalist father. He works for coins like a call girl.
Kurdoz | 21/5/2014
So why not take Iran & Syria aswell? They have alot of commen with turkey :) Maybe its a good thing, i dont know, if i happens i hope europe keeps a strong eye in human rights, and especially the kurdish case, if not then this is all a joke and u might better take iran into europe aswell.. Ffs take Saudie arabie and maybe maliki wants to join to? Great potentials for the corrupt european union :) doesnt matter at all, europe wants to dictate the way we should live, they decide everything about each indivual country in EU, the budget, Constatition, And theyre working for a Union bank also, so i say take all the corrupt countries into Europe and leave Kurdistan alone :) better of alone then with anyone!
Bevr | 23/5/2014
@@Rojcan, you and people like you are fuel for hate,,,,disliked by all,,,your comment reflect how educated you are,,,,in this case sefer,,,ziro,,you waiting your life hating the Turks and Barzani,,,, do something useful for your self and the the Kurds,,,,,hating will keep miserable for the rest of your miserable life,,,,,wake up before it is too late ,,,,,it is 21 century :)))
al | 24/5/2014
Hi,just want say no one like turk not kurds greek armanin gorgian arab fars because how they have acting in this area ,we can with good behavior show them other side life they have miserable life any way....crow flight with crow pigeon with pigeon. mala baba ma mala meranh
Kurdistan | 25/5/2014
Although Turkey has been trying for many years for membership to be part of an EU, brown nosing and kissing ass. Should they succeed and be granted EU membership, I am sure Turkey will immediately decide to separate from the Kurds leading to independent Kurdistan, but as a result Kurds will lose out and will not benefit from being and EU membership. What do you think will happen next? Would Turkey not create more problems? Seems like Turkey have other plans for the future and can't be trusted? Who what else?
Tags :
8625 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

me | 2/12/2019 12:16:30 PM
what jobs here pay 4500 usd a month !? that is 54 k annually!
SuperJC | 2/15/2019 6:38:20 AM
How this person becomes a poor guy even he's right skill in one of good industry....This poor guy got no brain in the first place and then mix-up the...
Venezuelan oil worker packs up for Kurdistan Region, better life
| 10/2/2019 | (11)
Hansi Oemeran | 1/30/2019 5:58:35 PM
Turkey has literally caused for this conflict to go astray. Now, tens if not hundreds of jihadist groups fighting for supremacy. This is going to...
Schools in Indonesia | 2/15/2019 6:29:49 AM
Syria has a strong diplomatic relationship with major superpowers, of which most of it are closest allies like Russia, Iran ,China, India ,...
Al-Qaida’s advance in northern Syria threatens fragile truce
| 30/1/2019 | (2)
John Bird | 2/15/2019 6:02:41 AM
The Islamic regime in Iran is having a taste of their own medicine. They brought terror and destruction to the region 40 years ago. Let them now...
United Nations encourages states to help Iran after terror attack killed 27
| 18 hours ago | (1)
Artush | 2/14/2019 10:34:43 PM
Its really sad and pity to see the russian flag along side the pirate turkish flag and mullah flag.
Israeli | 2/15/2019 5:21:56 AM
What a picture 3 criminals , 3 killers together .
Putin: Northern Syria must return to Damascus control
| yesterday at 07:03 | (7)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

KDP and PUK ‘meet in the middle’ after months of dispute, delay 11 hours ago |

KDP and PUK ‘meet in the middle’ after months of dispute, delay

"we solved what remained through consensus more
Officials address ‘increased’ drug use in Kurdistan Region 11 hours ago |

Officials address ‘increased’ drug use in Kurdistan Region

He blamed the increase on neighboring countries more
0.266 seconds