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The Oomen-Ruijten report flouted the Accession Partnership criteria and the requirements of the Neighbourhood Policy

Strasbourg, May 21st 2008 – The European Parliament gathered in plenary session voted today the report prepared by Mrs Oomen-Ruijten (Conservative, Netherlands) on the Turkey’s 2007 progress report and its 28 tabled amendments. From a general point of view, the resolution focuses its critics on Turkey’s delays to fulfill its reforms commitments, especially those regarding the State of Law, democracy, legislative reforms and the minorities’ rights. The resolution claims that “additional delays” in the implementation of these reforms “will seriously affect the rhythm of the negotiations”.

Regarding the various aspects of Turkey’s denial policy, the MEPs failed to produce an objective report which gives a fair decision on European Parliament’s positions already established on the Armenian genocide, and this in spite of the strong positions expressed by a great number of MEPs during the debates.

They have also adopted an amendment tabled by the MEPs supporting Turkey’s interests (Cem Özdemir, Joost Lagendijk – Greens) which aims at minimizing the blockade on Armenia exerted by Turkey for 15 years.

“The Oomen-Ruijten report failed to show the reality of Turkey; it proved once again that regarding the Armenian genocide the European position is well established on denial, as is the candidate country’s. It waters down even the Parliament’s position regarding the blockade on Armenia by being in flagrant contradiction with the Accession criteria and the requirements of the Neighbourhood policy: the Oomen-Ruijten report cannot contribute to a real dialogue between the Union and Turkey”, declared Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy.

Referring to the article 301, in spite of the unanimous requirements for abolition made by the Turkish and European civil societies, the report is satisfied with indicating “that is of the view that the abrogation of the 301 article would be the best solution”, and considering the cosmetic reform of this article as “a first step”.

The European Armenian Federation reminds that the slight reform of the 301 article deceived the European public opinion, and offended the Turkish defenders of Human Rights, the first victims of this iniquitous law which remains unchanged after so many years of governmental promises.

“The compromising of the Oomen-Ruijten report with a law that penalizes a right so fundamental that is the freedom of expression for Europe will not help the Turkish democratic forces to upgrade their society”, commented Hilda Tchoboian. “What the European societies demand from the European Parliament, is to express in its reports more transparent positions, the truth on the situation of Human Rights and democracy in Turkey: it is regrettable that the report diffuses a screen of smoke in order to hide from the public opinion the seriousness of Turkey’s breaches in these fields, yet necessary for the examination of the integration of this country in the European Union”, concluded Hilda Tchoboian.

Euroarmenian fed.

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