Sinn Féin - On Your Side

SEU should not exist as an exclusive or elite club - Mary Lou McDonald

3 October, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today commented on the current impasse surrounding Turkey's accession to the EU. Negotiations are on-going although Austria is continuing to object to full EU membership for Turkey.

Speaking today Ms McDonald:

"Sinn Féin's position on Turkish accession to the EU is quite clear. Entry must be subject to Turkish adherence of the 'Copenhagen Criteria' on democracy and respect for human rights. Should negotiations begin, it could take up to 10 years for Turkey to become a member of the EU. This period must be used to ensure that significant progress is made regarding its human rights record, the ongoing occupation of Cyprus and the denial of Kurdish rights. Turkey must prove to the world and its own people that it is a respecter of human rights.

"Whilst EU member states continue their discussions on Turkish accession to the European Union, It is clear that there are those who oppose their membership. The European Union should be open to accommodating people of all beliefs and none. Such an attitude is clearly divisive and seeks to reinforce the notion that the EU is an elite club. Turkish accession should not be used to reinforce Islamaphobia

"Sinn Féin looks forward to the time when Turkey fulfils its international obligations, and can become a full participatory member of the European Union." ENDS

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