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ISBN: 9780215043627 - UK-Turkey Relations and Turkey's Regional Role
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UK-Turkey Relations and Turkey's Regional Role

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Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Foreign Affairs Committee

ISBN: 9780215043627
Format: Paperback
Publisher: TSO

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This report concludes that the Government is right to continue to support Turkey's accession to the European Union, as long as Ankara meets the accession criteria, and subject to the Government imposing restrictions on the right to free movement from Turkey after it joins. However, at the moment, shortcomings in Turkey's justice system are leading to human rights abuses, including as regards freedom of expression and the media, and making it harder to advocate Turkey's EU membership. Turkey's EU accession process is in any case stuck: effectively, it is hostage to the Cyprus dispute. The Committee said that, by undermining the force of EU leverage, the stalemate is having consequences that are detrimental to UK objectives in Turkey across a range of fields, including not only human rights but also energy and market access issues. The Committee found this especially regrettable given that Turkish democracy may be in a critical phase, and given the influence that Turkey may have at the moment over reforming Arab states. The Committee also said that, by creating uncertainty over the timing - if not the fact - of Turkey's EU accession, the stalemate was discouraging both the EU and Turkey from starting to address some of the most difficult issues that would be involved in Turkey's EU membership. The Government's continuing support for Turkey's EU membership has provided a strong basis for the further development of UK-Turkey bilateral relations which has significant potential. As a foreign policy partner Turkey could potentially add value to UK foreign policy