Friends of Turkey in the European Parliament

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Friends of Turkey in the European Parliament

Friends of Turkey is an informal group created during a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. This group was founded by MEPs from the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA and the ECR. Seventy-six MEPs have already joined.

Alojz Peterle (EPP) was elected chairman of the group and Fatih Aydogan, assistant of Ismail Ertug (S&D), has been elected the secretary.

The main interest of the informal group is to closely follow the negotiation process between the EU and Turkey through a critical but constructive approach. Members are committed to provide an added value in the negotiation process by an open and frank dialogue. The aim is also to provide a platform for the MEPs to play an active role in improving EU-Turkey relations.

The group will organize formal and informal meetings with Turkish and European officials and will be in touch with the Join Parliamentary Committee and the rapporteur of Turkey's Progress Report. "Friends of Turkey" is also trying to enhance dialogue with civil society representatives, scholars and business associations in Turkey.

Chairman Alojz Peterle said he was very pleased to see that the number of participating MEPs from many different countries was so important: "The informal group is amongst the most enthusiastic groups in parliament. Nobody is against open dialogue and I am proud to say that we can be friends despite our differences." All MEPs are invited to join the group and share their ideas and initiatives with the members.

The group already initiated a conference about Turkey's democratization process last June and invited the Turkish minister of Justice Sadullah Ergin to the EP to present the amendments prior to the referendum. The members came together with main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at a breakfast during his visit to Brussels.

Last November group members made a political trip to Turkey and were welcomed by Turkey's top decision-makers, amongst them the EU Minister Egemen Bagis, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Vice-Prime Minister Ali Babacan and President Abdullah Gül. Furthermore they met civil society representatives, journalists, academics and minority representatives such as the Turkish Jewish community leader Sami Herman and the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew.

Members of the Group[edit]

  • ALDE: BUSOI Cristian Silviu; DUFF Andrew; IN'T VELD Sophie; JÄÄTTEENMÄKI Anneli; KACIN Jelko; KAZAK Metin; LUDFORD Sarah; MEISSNER Gesine; SCHAAKE Marietje; THEIN Alexandra; THEURER Michael; VAJGL Ivo; WALLIS Diana; WATSON Graham
  • ECR: KARIM Sajjad; VAN ORDEN Geoffrey; ZAHRADIL Jan
  • EPP: BACH Georges; CORAZZA BILDT Anna Maria; GUTIERREZ-CORTINES Cristina; KALNIETE Sandra; STOLOJAN Theodor Dumitru; MAZZONI Erminia; NEYNSKY Nadezhda; PETERLE Alojz; PREDA Cristian Dan; RANNER Hella; SCHNIEBER-JASTRAM Birgit; SVENSSON Alf; VIDAL-QUADRAS Alejo; WAŁĘSA Jarosław; ZVER Milan
  • Greens/EFA: ALBRECHT Jan Philipp; DELLI Karima; FLAUTRE Hélène; GREZE Catherine; HAUTALA Heidi; KELLER Franziska; ROMEVA i RUEDA Raül; SARGENTINI Judith; SCHULZ Werner; STOLOJAN Theodor Dumitru; TARAND Indrek
  • S&D: ARIF Kader; BERLINGUER Luigi; BOŞTINARU Victor; BOZKURT Emine; CASHMAN Michael; CHILDERS Nessa; CHRISTENSEN Ole; DE KEYSER Véronique; EL KHADRAOUI Saïd; ENCIU Ioan; ERTUG Ismail; FAJON Tanja; FÄRM Göran; GEBHARDT Evelyne; FLECKENSTEIN Knut; GEBHARDT Evelyne; GOEBBELS Robert; HOWITT Richard; JAAKONSAARI Liisa; KIRILOV Evgeni; LEINEN Jo; LIBERADZKI Bogusław; MCCARTHY Arlene; MENENDEZ DEL VALLE Emilio; MORAES Claude; MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María; NEUSER Norbert; NEVEĎALOVÁ Katarína; OBIOLS I GERMA Raimon; PERELLO RODRIGUEZ Andres; POC Pavel; SÁNCHEZ PRESEDO Antolín; SIMON Peter; STEINRUCK Jutta; ZALA Boris

References[edit]

Home Page: www.friendsofturkey.eu