PES Pre-Council meeting – Press release

EU Turkey cooperation is vital, Ankara should respect human rights
24956917963_32aa20b286_cEuropean Socialist leaders met today to discuss developments in the situation regarding refugees and relations between the EU and Turkey.
They were joined by Selahattin Demirtas, People’s Democratic Party’s leader – one of the PES Member Parties in Turkey -, and Eyyup Doru, european representative of the HDP in Europe.
Sergei Stanishev, PES President, said at the meeting:
“The PES says YES to the EU-Turkey agreement, NO to any compromise on human rights.”
“Relations with Turkey are a complex matter. In order to understand this and ensure a satisfactory outcome for all of them, we need to listen to numerous groups, not only the current Turkish government. It is for that reason that we invited the leaders of both of our sister parties in Turkey to the pre-EU Council meeting today. I was pleased to be able to speak to Selahattin Demirtas so that he could inform us about the current situation in the country, in particular with regard to it’s South East region and tell us how we can help in the fight for human rights and media freedom as well.”
“As social-democrats, we completely support the EU-Turkey action plan and understand the urgent need of it to be approved and implemented by both sides.
But at the same time, there shouldn’t be any compromises on human rights and freedom of the press in Turkey. We are working with our colleagues, the progressive forces in Turkey, to ensure this is the case.”
“Refugees escaping from violence and danger are continuing to cross rough seas and dangerous land to reach Europe. Their safety is our first priority. Time has come to dismantle smuggler’s networks”, Stanishev added.
According to PES leaders today, the EU-Turkey Action Plan provided us with a good basis for helping refugees in the most appropriate place and support First Vice President Timmermans, who fought hard for this. Turkey must fulfill its part of the deal and be more proactive in combating trafficking and helping refugees at home.
Party of European Socialists (PES)