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Turkey's reassurances on human rights worthless – Anderson

3 August, 2016 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has branded Turkish assurances on the protection of the rights of refugees as "worthless and hollow" and urged the European Union to change its approach to the refugee crisis.

The Sinn Féin MEP was reacting to an answer given by the European Commission to a question asked by Sinn Féin MEPs and colleagues on the left in Europe.

Martina Anderson said:

"The response of the European Commission to our question is alarming.

"When pressed on reports that Turkey are returning desperate refugees to war-torn Syria, the Commission simply states it has received written assurances from Turkey that this is not the case.

"Turkey's assurances are worthless and hollow, they are not worth the paper they are written on.

"Events in recent days and weeks show categorically that Turkey is neither a safe country nor a good partner for the EU in dealing with the refugee crisis.

"The current Turkish regime is both brutal and authoritarian.

"The state is at war with its own Kurdish citizens and President Erdogan has used the recent 'coup' to clamp down ruthlessly on perceived opponents. Tens of thousands of journalists, academics, soldiers and civil servants have been interned in what is reported to be terrible conditions.

"The EU-Turkey deal needs to be immediately scrapped. The horse-trading of suffering people cannot continue and the vital principle of not returning refugees to danger must be completely respected and upheld to the highest of standards.

"The EU cannot shirk its responsibilities in this humanitarian crisis. If member states cooperated and did their fair share, this crisis could be resolved. A humanitarian crisis requires a humanitarian response."  

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