EU Rapporteur condemns Turkish higher court’s Kavala verdict
The European Union has swiftly responded to the decision by Turkey's Court of Cassation to confirm the life sentence of businessman Osman Kavala in connection with the Gezi Park protests. Nacho Sánchez Amor, the European Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey, expressed strong disapproval of the decision, stating that it undermines Turkey's aspirations for EU membership.
The higher court’s confirmation of the aggravated life imprisonment for Osman Kavala and the 18-year sentences for Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, Mine Özerden, and Çiğdem Mater Utku, all related to the Gezi Park demonstrations, has ignited controversy and raised concerns over the rule of law and human rights in Turkey.
Speaking to Euronews, Nacho Sánchez Amor condemned the decision, particularly in light of non-compliance with rulings from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. He described the situation as a "complete disaster" and stressed that adherence to ECHR judgments is essential for all Council of Europe member states.
Nacho Sánchez emphasized that the European Union evaluates Turkey's accession process based on the Copenhagen criteria, and the deteriorating human rights situation in Turkey is causing deep concern. He asserted that this development further damages the prospects of full EU membership negotiations.
"We need to somehow test Turkey's real willingness to reinvigorate its accession process to the EU. Good intentions mean little without concrete actions to support them. Unfortunately, recent developments continue to undermine Turkey's hopes of EU integration, taking a significant step away from the EU goal," said Sanchez.