Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-10-24-Speech-3-219"

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"Mr President, I, too, agree that not-insignificant progress has been made, and not just in terms of the Copenhagen criteria – a rather cold, aristocratic expression which conjures up an image of this Europe that always wants to be seen as a model of democracy. I am thinking, rather, of the extremely tangible progress made in the field of honesty: the courage and honesty of a President who is able to condemn the corruption present in his own country. However, we would be wronging Turkey if we did not make things absolutely clear to her – being clear, not hypocritical – and being clear means telling her that a great deal remains to be done in terms of democratic civilisation and behaviour, and that means reforms. In this sense, the ability to implement political and social reforms benefiting the Kurdish minority is a highly effective parameter. It is true and important that the Turkish Constitution intends to remove some of the restrictions placed on the use of the Kurdish language but, Mr President, I am appalled by this idea of partial removal of restrictions: the idea of partial removal of restrictions applied to a fundamental right such as the use of one’s own language is a quite horrific contradiction in terms. I am also appalled by the fact that only a cultural right is being recognised to a minority that does not enjoy even the most basic political and social rights. Mr President, we expect Turkey to show signs of cooperation, and a sign in precisely this area – addressing this long-standing dispute with the Kurdish people with courage and tolerance, in a tolerant, civilised manner – would be very well received by the entire European Parliament."@en1

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