Written question – VP/HR – Human rights situation in Turkish Kurdistan – E-000080/2016

In mid-December, the Turkish army launched a fresh offensive in the Kurdish areas in south-eastern Turkey. According to the Turkish Government, hundreds of fighters belonging to the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which it regards as a terrorist organisation, have already been killed. But villages and civilians are not being spared, either. Many thousands of people have already fled.

— Various media and international NGOs have reported that the human rights situation is alarming. Has the EEAS investigated these concerns?

— The Commission has resumed the accession negotiations with Turkey. We see that in the first round of talks priority is being assigned to monetary affairs. Does the European Union intend at any time soon to extend the negotiations to cover human rights and the conflict between the Kurds and the Turkish State?

— The pro-Kurdish party HDP is making its views known concerning the human rights violations committed by the Turkish army. However, this is not welcomed by Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu. Turkey was once known as the ‘graveyard of parties’. A few years ago, the preconditions for banning parties were made more stringent, as a result of pressure from the EU. Nonetheless, some politicians are still toying with the idea. Does the EEAS consider the survival of pro-Kurdish parties, such as the HDP, to be sufficiently guaranteed?