EU leaders call on Erdogan to respect human rights. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, have met with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an attempt to redirect relations
” Turkey shows interest in reuniting with the European Union in a constructive way and we have precisely come to Turkey to give impetus to this.” This is how the president of the European Commission , Ursula Von der Leyen , began her press conference this Tuesday afternoon in Ankara after having participated in a meeting, together with the president of the European Council , Charles Michel , with the Turkish head of state , Recep Tayyip Erdogan .
The meeting lasted more than three hours. “We have discussed four areas in which the European Union and Turkey can cooperate and benefit,” said Von der Leyen, although later he warned:
“We want honest cooperation , which is frank and also allows us to talk about what separates us. We have made it clear that respect for human rights is crucial . They have to be an integral part of our relationship. Turkey must respect the rule of law and human rights ”.
The trip of the EU leaders comes when the next outlawing of the Kurdish-party HDP, the second largest Turkish opposition force, is more than likely, and just two weeks after the Ankara government decided to abandon the European convention for the fight against sexist violence . Erdogan left the international agreement at dawn.
As explained by Michael and Von der Leyen, there will be four new areas of cooperation with Turkey: economic , with a renegotiation of the customs union pact with Turkey; the diplomatic, with a greater dialogue between Ankara and Brussels ; of mobility , with more presence of Turkey in European programs such as Erasmus and Horizon + -Erdogan they have been calling for European visas for citizens Turks eliminated; and immigration , with a reissue of the 2016 refugee pact .
In exchange for Turkey continuing to host 3.6 million Syrian refugees and prevent them from trying to cross into Greece, the EU will continue to give money to Ankara for refugee integration projects in the Eurasian country.
“We have conveyed to President Erdogan that we are prepared to have a positive relationship and agenda with Turkey, based on economic cooperation, migration, and mobility. Our dialogue will be progressive, but also reversible. We hope that Turkey will seize this opportunity, ”said Council President Charles Michel.