Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-02-12-Speech-1-141"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, first of all I must congratulate the rapporteur on the well-structured report that she has presented to us. It is a document that addresses subjects of prime importance and highlights the status of women in Turkey and hence in the European Union. Many people say that the progress made by that country on its journey towards EU accession should be judged first on respect for human rights and then on equal rights for men and women. We agree with that, but I believe that women should gain equal rights in Turkey regardless of any aspiration to join the European Union. This is an issue that lies at the basis of any modern, democratic country, but unfortunately, in this context, the European Union is not particularly well qualified to stand up as a champion of safeguards and rights. The rapporteur specifically points to the extreme scarcity of Turkish women in positions of power, and item 41 suggests that adopting a mandatory quota system would be a short-term remedy. I remain sceptical: if the quota system has proved ineffective for us in the European Union, why should it ever work in Turkey? I have two contrasting reactions to the approach taken in the report: on the one hand, I am pleased to see that there is no reference to cases of torture or of excessive policing during demonstrations, but on the other I am concerned to note that a great many problems like female illiteracy and honour crimes are still worryingly common. I am afraid that the time to put them right is still a long way off, much further off in fact than any optimistic prediction."@en1

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