Swedish Member of European Parliament David Lega: Stop EU-Membership negotiations with Turkey

BRUSSELS – Swedish Member of European Parliament for the Christian Democrats David Lega has called for an end to negotiations with Turkey for EU membership: “The limit has long been reached,” he says. Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not meet the requirements for EU membership.

At home, the Rule of Law is being dismantled and the rights and freedoms of Turkish citizens are being systematically violated. Last month, Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women – (domestic) violence against women is a persistent problem in Turkey.

The MEP also draws attention to the case of Syriac Orthodox monk Aho Bilecen who was sentenced to more than 2 years in prison for offering food to alleged PKK fighters – the PKK is banned in Turkey. Monk Aho’s trial is, unfortunately, just one in many persecutions of Christians in Turkey, Lega says. In foreign policy, President Erdoğan acts both erratically and aggressively, including against EU Member States.

“For me, there is no doubt. The EU cannot continue to ignore Turkey. EU membership is not relevant, nor are other favorable bilateral agreements. It is not reasonable for one side to just give and give while the other party becomes more and more aggressive. The time has come to put an end to it.”