MEP Gianni Pitella – Visit in Turkey

The president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament has visited Turkey on October 29 and 30 to stress the EP expectations  about Turkey to put laws and reforms into practice regarding freedoms and rights and to support the Western alliance in the defense of the Kurdish besieged town of Kobanê.

Turkish authorities need to take steps forward because the steps taken are not good enough. Laws needed to be put in practice” said Gianni Pittella at a press conference in İstanbul. P

Pittella has met, on the three-day visit, some Turkish civil society representatives, active in the field of human rights, minorities and women’s rights, and officials in Ankara, including EU Selahattin Demirtaş (pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party [HDP]).

The S&D declared it committed to have a meeting next spring in Brussels with civil society’s member of Turkey, including representatives from religious minority groups, political parties and unions.

Answering journalists question on the Turkish government and his regional politics: “We want to very strongly tell the Turkish government that Ankara must do more in the fight against the Islamic State, a major threat for everybody”, and on the turkish government unclear stance: “We expect Turkey to be clear on its position against ISIL. Turkey has to decide on which side it wants to be. The EU already recognizes Ankara’s efforts to support refugees, but it is time to support logistics and military efforts to free Kobani, a symbol in the fight against DAESH. We don’t expect Turkey to go into Kobani, but to help the Western alliance in the fight.”

Insisting that the conflict in Kobani has important symbolic value and must be won, Pittella stated that DAESH is a global threat to all humanity and Turkey’s role in the coalition set up to fight the Islamiste group threat must be clearly defined.

He also said that Turkey has to understand its role within the coalition and that the decisions made by the coalition in its efforts to stop the advance of Daesh must be adhered to by all countries within the alliance. “Hypothetically, if the alliance reaches a decision that Turkey must conduct a land offensive against DAESH, Turkey must heed this call. You must adapt yourself to the alliance.”

Concerning the PYD (Democratic Union Party of West Kurdistan), he stressed the fact that the group was  not listed as as “Terrorist group” by the EU, before adding: “I believe the alliance in the fight against ISIL can provide a resolution to the Kurdish question.”