Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative MEP for London, today voted against continuing negotiations on Turkey’s membership of the EU. A full session of the European Parliament in Brussels was considering the progress Turkey is making towards EU accession. Marina stated that Turkey needs to make progress in the areas of women’s rights, the treatment of minorities and relations with the Republic of Cyprus.
In a speech to the European Parliament, Marina said: “Turkey still has a long way to go before it meets the criteria to become a member of the European Union. Until Turkey makes the necessary improvements, I cannot support its accession to the EU.”
“Turkey is still lagging behind when it comes to equality between men and women.”
“Turkey must do more to protect the rights of minority communities, especially the Kurds. Kurds must be allowed to be educated in their own language and have the freedom to use Kurdish in the political arena.”
“The country’s Foreign Minister has indicated that Turkey will refuse to work with the Cypriot Presidency of the European Union from 1 July.
“Any country that does not recognise one of the 27 EU Member States is not a suitable candidate for membership.”

Marina made another speech yesterday focusing on women’s rights in Turkey. The full text of her speech can be found here: http://bit.ly/GZQciY