Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-034"

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"Mr President, today’s discussion gives us an opportunity to express our satisfaction with the election results in Turkey, and to welcome the Turkish people’s express wish to continue the reforms. Turkey’s prospective accession to the EU, which remains the objective, has opened the way to attempts at reform. Unfortunately, these efforts have reached a plateau and have slowed down. The new government, with its fresh, strong mandate, needs to move very fast to fully implement all the provisions of the Association Agreement and its Additional Protocol. The reform process is above all about democratisation, fundamental human rights and religious freedoms. In line with this, it is essential to repeal Article 301 of the Criminal Code and respond firmly to the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s requests. Unfortunately, the Turkish Government’s attitude towards this issue so far has allowed for extremist acts. We must also mention the Turkish authorities’ inexplicable insistence on keeping the Theological School in Halki shut. Another issue that concerns us is the tense situation in south-east Turkey. I believe that the culture of settling disputes violently should not be allowed to prevail, because it will mean instability in the wider area. It is the present government’s responsibility to take action in order to reach a peaceful settlement on the Kurdish issue, and this presupposes dialogue between the two sides. The international community must play a peacekeeping role in this potential crisis. To conclude, Mr President, I should like to say that we expect Turkey to honour all its obligations so that it can progress steadily towards prospective European integration."@en1

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